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Go-ahead Granted for Collective Bargaining by NSW Poultry Farmers

30 June 2014

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted authorisation to enable members of the New South Wales (NSW) Farmers’ Association who grow chicken, turkey and duck meat, to bargain collectively with processors.

Under the collective bargaining arrangements, poultry growers will form common interest ‘grower groups’ to bargain collectively the terms and conditions of contracts with the relevant poultry processor.

Currently there are five chicken and turkey processors in New South Wales - Inghams Enterprises, Baiada Poultry, Red Lea Chickens, Cordina Chicken Farms, Summertime Chicken, and one duck processor – Pepe’s Ducks.

Under existing New South Wales legislation, chicken and turkey growers can currently collectively bargain with processors. Authorisation will allow them to continue the arrangements if the NSW legislation is removed.

Authorisation will also allow duck growers not covered under legislation to begin collective bargaining.

“Collective bargaining allows poultry growers to share transaction costs, such as employing expert advisors, which can improve their input into contracts,” ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said. “The arrangement may lead to more efficient contracts, which better reflect the circumstances of the growers and processor.”

The ACCC has granted authorisation for 10 years.

Authorisation provides immunity 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 authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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