In brief: Horticulture code of conduct comes into effect on April 1st

The 2017 mandatory Horticulture Code of Conduct, becomes compulsory from April 1st 2018. The code is Commonwealth legislation covering horticultural produce including all unprocessed edibles; but not nursery, ornamental or cut flowers.

This code regulates transactions so that everything is in writing up front between growers and traders (where traders include agents or merchants). It also includes an avenue of dispute mediation that is cheaper & easier than going through the courts.

All growers and traders will need a signed HPA (Horticultural Produce Agreement) before they can buy, sell or trade fruit from 1 April 2018, there are penalties (fines) for non-compliance. The new code specifies record keeping requirements, allows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to carry out investigations and compliance checks, lists the points that must be included in HPA’s and provides a default list of Class 1 specifications called Fresh Specs (the default can be changed by including your own specifications in the HPA). Visit the Fresh Specs website for details on fruit and vegetable specifications.

NT Farmers have a template HPA for their members to utilise if they wish, contact Aisla Connolly E:; T:  (08) 8983 3233; M: 0400 416 558; W:

For more information on the Horticulture Code of Conduct visit the ACCC website .

Last updated: 30 April 2020

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