ACCC proposes collective bargaining for South Australian chicken growers

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th April 2012

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced a draft decision to allow South Australian chicken growers to collectively bargain with Australian-based poultry supplier and producer, Inghams, for the next ten years.

The proposed arrangements, according to the ACCC, are likely to provide a better opportunity for broiler chicken growers to have more effective input into the terms and conditions of their contracts with Inghams.

Currently, there are approximately 68 chicken growing farms contracted to three processors in South Australia. Chicken growers in the State have historically had limited opportunities to switch between processors, often preferring to bargain collectively with the processor that they supply

The ACCC has previously authorised similar collective bargaining arrangements for chicken growers in Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

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. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

The ACCC’s draft determination and information about making a submission will be available from the ACCC’s website, Submissions are due by 4 May 2012.