THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has called to allow collective bargaining for potato growers.
The ACCC has proposed for the South East Potato Growers Association (SEPGA) and the Victorian Potato Growers Council (VPGC) and their members to collectively bargain with potato buyers.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said collective bargaining may allow growers to have greater input into the terms and conditions of their contracts with potato processors, leading to a more efficient Australian potato growing industry.
He said the draft determination distinguished between the collective bargaining conduct that potato growers would be allowed to engage in and the process the Victorian potato growers would engage in to set a recommended price for seed potatoes.
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.
"This authorisation covers negotiations between the potato growers associations and potato processors,'' a spokesperson said.
The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties in relation its draft determination in this matter.
In particular, the ACCC is seeking submissions regarding the seed price recommendation.
Copies of the draft determination are available at accc.gov.au
Submissions close November 19.