The Morrison Government has appointed the Hon Nick Minchin AO as the Independent Reviewer under the Food and Grocery Code for a three-year period.
Earlier this year the Government enhanced the Code to strengthen commercial dealings between Code signatories and their suppliers.
Changes to the Code were designed to promote fairer and more transparent dealings between suppliers and major supermarkets and wholesalers, as well as establishing of the Independent Reviewer’s role.
The Independent Reviewer is a part-time appointment and will oversee the Code’s dispute resolution process, while championing its protections to improve commercial practices within the food and grocery industry.
Suppliers that are dissatisfied by the handling of their complaint by a retailer or wholesaler can now refer the matter to the Independent Reviewer for investigation.
The Independent Reviewer can make recommendations to resolve complaints and also has the power to refer matters to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission if it is believed a breach of the Code has occurred.
The Independent Reviewer will listen to issues raised by suppliers and farmers and work collaboratively with the Code signatories to address patterns of poor behaviour before they become systemic.
The introduction of the Independent Reviewer and other recent reforms to the Code will help foster a strong partnership between industry participants and Government to deliver benefits for businesses, consumers and the broader economy.