The Australian Food & Grocery in conjunction with Six Degrees presented an update on the Voluntary Code of Conduct...

On 7th June Six Degrees hosted an event for key stakeholders within the FMCG and retail sector in Melbourne. We hosted over 80 of our clients at the Thought Leadership breakfast, where Gary Dawson, CEO of the Australian Food & Grocery Council, delivered a presentation on the AFGC's position on the voluntary code of conduct. Given the recent media attention and political debate around the controversial issues, there was subsequently some interesting discussion.

Gary discussed what we need to do to ensure a robust future for the industry.

  • Falling $AUD will certainly help exporters
  • High costs e.g. / labour costs
  • Seek different channels to market - exports, online, find new consumers
  • Brand building
  • Innovation
  • Regulatory relief
  • Industry Code of Conduct - AFCG

Gary touched on the allegations of some conduct by the retail giants that may not conform to 'acceptable business conduct' and be a misuse of 'market power', which the ACCC are in the midst of investigating and should come to light in the next few months. As Gary noted these allegations are very difficult to prove.

The answer from the AFCG's perspective is to introduce a voluntary industry code. From a suppliers viewpoint what does this mean?

  • Greater contractual certainty
  • Obligations on de-listing, promotions, payments
  • Retailers Own Brands
  • Complaints and Dispute Resolution
  • Backed by ACCC

Gary suggested we are 95% of the way to a resolution in terms of a voluntary code of conduct with the issues of private label still to be resolved.

What are your views on the work that the AFGC is conducting?

Gary Dawson's presentation was part of Six Degrees' highly successfully Thought Leadership Series. If you are interested in attending future seminars please contact Lorrie Storey on 03 8613 3504.