Stakeholders have an opportunity to shape the regulation of Australia's $9.23 billion horticulture sector with the release today of an issues paper to inform the independent review of the mandatory Horticulture Code of Conduct.
In June, Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, initiated the review of the Horticulture Code of Conduct, which regulates trade in horticultural produce between Australia's fresh fruit and vegetables growers and traders.
The independent reviewers, Mr Alan Wein and Mr Mark Napper, worked in close cooperation to develop the issues paper. Mr Napper is an accountant and horticulturalist, while Mr Wein undertook the review of the franchising code.
Minister Joyce said the review would examine how the code could be improved, and the issues paper gives stakeholders the opportunity to have a say on a range of issues affecting the trade in Australian horticulture produce.
"Through the submissions process, stakeholders can voice concerns, and the government is listening," Minister Joyce said.
"This is about striking a balance between the appropriate regulation of the horticulture sector and giving growers and traders the freedom to run their businesses effectively, efficiently and successfully."
Mr Wein and Mr Napper will meet with a number of growers, markets and traders, and other stakeholders during the public consultation phase in August and September.
Minister Billson said part of the government's commitment to improving the competitive environment for all industries involved reviewing the rules and regulations that affect them.
"It’s important that we listen to the views of those interested in the future of Australia’s horticulture industry," Minister Billson said.
Once stakeholder feedback has been received, the reviewers will provide a report and make recommendations for the Australian Government to consider.
Stakeholders have until 18 September 2015 to submit their views.
For more information about the Horticulture Code of Conduct and the review, including how to make a submission, visit www.agriculture.gov.au/horticulturecodereview