CRACKING down on dodgy farm businesses, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission has launched an anonymous tip off website to report breaches of the competition and fair trading issues.
Rogue labor hire companies and unfair work contracts, as well as discrepancies between growers and agents and their wholesalers have been a hot issue in the ag sector in recent years, particularly the horticulture sector.
ACCC ag commissioner Mick Keogh said the tip off tool was designed to overcome the concerns industry members have about coming forward with information on illegal practices.
“Farmers in the horticulture and viticulture industries have expressed concerns about potential retribution from others in the supply chain if they contact the ACCC,” Mr Keogh said.
“The tool encrypts the information and removes the person’s IP address so their identity is kept anonymous. The ACCC won’t know who is contacting us.”
Mr Keogh has said previously issues over discrepancies between horticulture growers and wholesale agents are common across the country.
The site can be accessed from any web-enabled device such as a PC, smart phone, laptop or tablet.
“I encourage anyone in the agriculture sector with concerns about negative consequences from contacting the ACCC about fair trading or competition issues to use this new tool,” Mr Keogh said.
He launched the initiative to a meeting of NSW Farmers horticulture branch today.
A new set of industry rules is being developed as the current Horticulture Code of Conduct is set to expire on April 1.