ACCC action over alleged unconscionable conduct by Coles

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) today welcomed the announcement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court alleging unconscionable conduct on the part of Coles with respect to 200 food and grocery suppliers.

AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson said the proceedings involve very serious matters in relation to retailer dealings with food and grocery suppliers that have been hanging over the industry for years.“It is important that these allegations be tested in court because they go to the heart of whether we have a properly functioning food and grocery market in Australia under the current market power imbalance,” said Mr Dawson. “Consumer interest is best served by a properly functioning competitive market and the ACCC has a key role in ensuring fair and effective competition across the supply chain.”

“Today’s announcement underlines the importance of an effective Industry Code of Conduct which will deliver more contractual certainty, encourage better sharing of risk and provide a practical dispute resolution mechanism without excessive regulation or compliance costs.”

“It also underlines the significance of the current Competition Law Review which will examine the impact of vertical integration and market power in key industry sectors, including supermarket retailing,” concluded Mr Dawson.


AFGC media contact: James Mathews AFGC 0407 416 002.