All grower and traders operating through the Central markets must now have a valid Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA) in or risk being penalised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Only growers who sell directly to retailers, exports and processors are exempt and most packhouses will also need to have compliant HPAs with their suppliers.
Growcom has worked extensively to ensure that our members are informed of their rights and obligations under the Code.
To ensure a smooth transition, Growcom has developed HPA templates for growers who choose to pursue either an agency or merchant style agreement with their wholesaler or packhouse, depending on the preference of both parties.
The templates were developed with significant input from solicitors, growers and grower organisations around Australia. They can be filled in electronically or printed out and filled in by hand.
They are a useful starting point for negotiations around the horticulture produce agreement and provide a clear and easy-to-understand outline of the responsibilities of both parties.
Growcom strongly recommends for growers to have an open discussion with their traders before developing a detailed agreement, and to check the commercial terms schedule and the accompanying terms and conditions within that agreement to ensure they are not signing away their rights.
How to use the HPA templates
There are two different types of template, a merchant template and an agent template.
- A merchant template is used when the trader (wholesaler) takes ownership of the produce and pays you an amount determined on or before delivery or using a pre-agreed method or formula for calculating a price. If a method or formula is used then there are additional reporting requirements such as letting you know the final sale price of your produce to the third party
- An agency template is used if a trader sells the produce on your behalf to a third party and takes out a pre-agreed commission.
Choose the template which best suits you and your trader (don’t forget packing sheds also come under the new Horticulture Code of Conduct).
The word versions of the templates can be filled in electronically. The grey shaded areas are explanatory notes and the yellow highlighted areas need to be filled in with your particulars. Make sure you check both the Commercial terms schedule and the accompanying terms and conditions within the detailed agreement.
The pdf versions of the template can be printed out and filled in by hand. You will need to check the yellow highlighted areas on the word document to make sure you have filled in all the relevant information.
Please remember that this template is the starting point for negotiation and we strongly recommend having an open discussion with your trader about developing an agreement that works for both parties.
Disclaimer: These template documents comply with relevant legislation as at the date of development. If legislative requirements change, the documents may not continue to comply with relevant legislation and may need to be amended. Users are responsible for monitoring ongoing compliance with the law and Growcom will not provide individual updates to users.
The commercial terms and arrangements set out in the template documents reflect common industry practice. Users may need to tailor the documents to meet their own commercial circumstances and we recommend obtaining independent legal advice. Users must take care to ensure any change does not result in the document ceasing to meet legislative requirements. Growcom accepts no responsibility for the consequences of any changes which have not been approved in writing by Growcom.
For more information on the Horticulture Code of Conduct, visit the ACCC’s website: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/horticulture-code-of-conduct