ACCC OKs collective bargaining for chicken industry

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 22nd April 2010

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has authorised a further five years of collective bargaining between Victorian chicken growers and processors Baiada Poultry, Inghams Enterprises, Hazeldene Chicken Farm and Turi Foods.

Chicken growers will be able to form bargaining groups according to which processor they supply in order to negotiate contracts.  The arrangements are voluntary for both processors and growers, and individuals may negotiate directly if they (or their processor) want to.

Victorian chicken growers and processors have been collectively negotiating since 2005, when the Victorian broiler chicken industry was deregulated.  The Victorian Farmers’ Federation reports that some groups have successfully made collective agreements, while others are close to finalising contracts.

“The ACCC considers that the collective bargaining arrangements are likely to continue to be of benefit particularly through providing the opportunity for increased grower input into contracts,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

“The ACCC has issued this final decision in just a little over two months since receiving this application for authorisation. This again demonstrates the ACCC’s commitment to dealing with collective bargaining matters quickly,” Mr Samuel said.