Good news for greenlife growers: Senate recommends better protections from Bunnings

GIA welcomes the inclusion of Bunnings in the Senate’s Food & Grocery Code of Conduct Review recommendations, released yesterday.

We applaud the Senate’s recommendation to the Federal Government that greenlife growers be protected from unfair trading practices via Bunnings’ inclusion in the Code of Conduct. This recommendation brings growers one step closer to a decent and equitable trading relationship with Bunnings.

GIA is very pleased with the committee’s recommendations that the Code of Conduct explicitly captures greenlife industries and that the Code includes any large retailer that stocks food and/or grocery products.

Growers also welcome the additional recommendation that the Senate refers to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day of February 2025 the role of Australia’s ‘big box’ retailers in price setting, with particular reference to their market behaviours, including price negotiation practices and engagement with suppliers.

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In his report, Nick McKim stated, “The committee sees no reason indicating greenlife industries should be excluded from the Grocery Code. The committee recommends that The Treasury ensure that greenlife industries are captured by the provisions of the mandatory Grocery Code, along with any large retailer that stocks food and grocery products—even if those products are not their main products, all such stores should be Code signatories.”

Growers are encouraged that the Senate Committee has heard and acknowledged their real and deeply felt concerns We look forward to the government’s response to the recommendations.

Greenlife growers want and need to supply Bunnings. If the government accepts the Senate Committee’s recommendations, Bunnings will no longer control prices, supply and trading terms – and the trading environment will be fairer for growers.

Growers aren’t making any big asks – they just want the basics like written contracts, fair prices and a way to raise any concerns without fearing punishment. Any reasonable person would expect these fundamentals in their trading terms.

Next steps

If the government agrees with the Senate and admits Bunnings to the Code, Bunnings will need to change how it does business, just as Coles and Woolworths have.

We have no doubt Bunnings will take this in its stride and generate great profits and strong returns for its investors. Meanwhile, greenlife growers protected under a strengthened Code of Conduct will be able to trade with Bunnings with more confidence. Now that’s a win-win relationship.

More information

We’re regularly updating this page on our website with new information: www.greenlifeindustry.com.au/grower-protection

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