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Law Council of Australia

Business Law Section

Independent Review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct 2023–24

The Small and Medium Enterprise Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (SME Committee) is pleased to make this submission in response to the February 2024 Independent Review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct 2023–24 Consultation Paper.

The SME Committee has, as its primary focus, the consideration of legal issues affecting small businesses and medium enterprises in the development of national legal policy in that domain. Its membership is comprised of legal practitioners who are extensively involved in legal issues affecting SMEs.

In the interests of full disclosure, one of the members of the SME Committee is Ms Bronwyn Gallacher, who is currently the ALDI Code Arbiter. Ms Gallacher has not contributed to the preparation of this submission in any way.

The SME Committee has previously lodged several submissions with the Treasury in relation to the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (the Grocery Code).

In September 2014, the SME Committee lodged a submission in response to the ‘Improving Commercial Relationships in the Food and Grocery Sector’ report and the draft Grocery Code.1 In that submission, the SME Committee expressed the view that the Grocery Code should be a mandatory code.

In August 2018, the SME Committee lodged a submission in response to the June 2018 ‘Draft Report into the Independent Review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct’.2 In its submission, the SME Committee reiterated its position that the Grocery Code should be a mandatory code. The SME Committee continues to hold this view.

In February 2023, the SME Committee lodged a further submission in response to the December 2022 Consultation Paper, ‘Review of the Dispute Resolution Provisions in the Food and Grocery Code’.3

Read the full submission below.


1 Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia, Submission in relation to ‘Improving Commercial Relationships in the Food and Grocery Sector’ and the draft Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (12 September 2014) <https://lawcouncil.au/publicassets/2ba0844f-e1d6-e611-80d2-005056be66b1/140912-Submission-2884-Food-and-Grocery-Code-of-Conduct.pdf>.
2 Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia, Draft Report into the Independent Review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (Submission, 1 August 2018) <https://lawcouncil.au/resources/submissions/draft-report-into-the-independent-review-of-the-food-and-grocery-code-of-conduct>.
3 Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia, Review of the Dispute Resolution Provisions in the Food and Grocery Code (Submission, 1 February 2023) <https://lawcouncil.au/resources/submissions/review-of-food-and-grocery-code-of-conduct>.

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