ACCC lets chicken plants work together during the pandemic
Victorian chicken processors have been given a green light by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to work together to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated Victorian stage 4 restrictions on the chicken meat industry.
This is part of an urgent interim authorisation granted to Ingham’s, Turosi, Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm and the chicken and meat industry body Australian Chicken Meat Federation to cooperate on a range of measures relating to their plants.
The decision aims to ensure sufficient supply of chickens and chicken meat, reduce the extent of any job losses and manage the impact of the stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria on chicken growers and other parts of the supply chain.
The authorisation would allow plans to share and coordinate the use of processing capacity, essential staff, facilities and products. The arrangements do extend to agreements about the price of goods or services supplied or acquired by chicken processors, and participation is voluntary.
“We will be carefully monitoring the conduct of chicken processors under this authorisation, and it is our expectation that any arrangements do not disadvantage chicken growers. This authorisation does not override any contractual obligations processors have with growers,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh.
As part of the authorisation, participants will also be required to notify the ACCC about decisions under the authorisation and provide updates and any information the ACCC requests about conduct occurring under the authorisation.
Ingham’s is seeking final authorisation until 31 December 2020. The ACCC’s interim authorisation will remain in place until the ACCC issues a final determination or revokes the interim authorisation, or Ingham’s withdraws its application.
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