On 28 August Treasurer Josh Frydenberg MP directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into the markets for the supply of perishable agricultural goods. One of the main focuses of the inquiry will be the distribution of power at each level of the domestic supply chain for perishable agricultural goods like meat, fruit and vegetables, eggs and dairy products. The ACCC is interested in the relationships and bargaining power between farmers, processors and retailers and any adverse impacts for participants. The inquiry will also look at practices and behaviours of suppliers and specifically assess the effectiveness of the recent Dairy Code. Overall, there is an emphasis on uncovering any unfair outcomes for farmers. The inquiry is relatively short, with a final report expected at the end of November. It is the latest in a series of ACCC investigations into the agriculture sector, including the Dairy Inquiry and a review of the Agricultural Machinery: after-sales market. The ACCC has also commenced several enforcement actions in the Federal Court for misconduct in the agriculture industry.

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