New agriculture commissioner to sit within ACCC

The ACCC is getting a beefed up expansion of its role to address anti-competitive behaviour in agricultural markets, and it comes with extra resources for a new commissioner and field work as officials bring innovation to the farm.

The government will create the new role of agriculture commissioner within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to help curb anti-competitive activities within agricultural supply chains, following long-standing public concerns about anti-competitive practices by major supermarkets.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announced on Sunday, as part of the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, that the government will give the ACCC $11.4 million over four years to establish an Agricultural Enforcement and Engagement Unit with additional staff to conduct investigations and engagement in rural and regional areas, as well as a dedicated commissioner.

Delia Rickard

Delia Rickard

“The ACCC will prioritise detecting, deterring and taking action against conduct that breaches the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) that affects farmers and small businesses in rural and regional areas, particularly cartels, misuse of market power, and misleading or unconscionable conduct,” ACCC acting chair Delia Rickard said.

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