Joint ​Media Release

Coalition Government to review the Horticulture Code of Conduct

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce
Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson


3 June 2015

Australia's $9.23 billion horticulture industry and interested stakeholders will have an opportunity to have their say on regulation within the sector with the upcoming independent review of the mandatory Horticulture Code of Conduct over the coming months.  

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, have initiated a review of the mandatory code, which regulates trade in horticultural produce between Australia's fresh fruit and vegetables growers and traders. 

"The Horticulture Code of Conduct was established in 2007 and while some degree of regulation is necessary, best practice shows that regulation must be periodically reviewed to ensure its continuing relevance. It's been nine years, so it's timely to review and examine how the code can be improved," Minister Joyce said. 

"Stakeholders have raised a range of issues concerning the Horticulture Code of Conduct, most recently in submissions to the Competition Policy Review and the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper process.  

"It is my hope we're able to address these concerns about the appropriate regulatory burden on the horticulture sector and ensuring fair returns to the farmgate." 

Minister Billson said it was important that Australian horticulture businesses remain efficient and profitable. 

"Part of the government's commitment to improving the competitive environment for all industries involves reviewing the rules and regulations that affect them," Minister Billson said. 

"We will be seeking advice from the independent review on how the horticulture code can be improved to balance both the needs of growers with those of traders." 

The review will prepare a draft issues paper, and after receiving stakeholder feedback, will provide a report and make recommendations for the Australian Government to consider.  

"With more than 59,500 people employed in Australia to grow fruit, vegetables and nuts for the domestic and export markets it's important that we hear their views and those interested in the future of Australia's horticulture industry," Minister Billson said. 

Mr Mark Napper and Mr Alan Wein have agreed to undertake the independent review on behalf of the government. Mr Napper is an accountant and horticulturalist, while Mr Wein undertook the review of the franchising code. It is expected that the review will be delivered in 2015.  

The terms of reference are online at: www.agriculture.gov.au/horticulturecodereview

The draft issues paper will be available for comment shortly.   

For more information about the Horticulture Code of Conduct and the review visit www.agriculture.gov.au/horticulturecodereview.