ACCC allows collective bargaining for remote community stores, aim to improve indigenous grocery food

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 6th October 2011

A group of grocery stores in a remote far northwest region of South Australia will be allowed to work together to improve the supply of food under a ruling by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The Mai Wiru Stores Group, in the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, will collectively negotiate terms and conditions with suppliers of essential grocery and supermarket items through a collective bargaining arrangement.

Collective bargaining refers to two or more competitors, typically small businesses, collectively negotiating terms and conditions with a supplier or customer.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims explained, “The ACCC considers the arrangements will help facilitate the reliable supply of essential groceries, which will have a positive effect upon the health and wellbeing of the members of remote indigenous communities in the APY Lands.”

The ACCC may approve a collective bargaining notification when it is satisfied that the public benefits outweigh the public detriments. However, the ACCC may review this notification at any time. Protection afforded by this notification commenced on 21 September 2011 and expires in three years.