Queensland chicken growers get collective-bargaining go-ahead

Tuesday, 29 January, 2013

Queensland broiler chicken growers have received authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to collectively bargain with three major poultry processors in the state.

The authorisation allows broiler growers who are members of Queensland Chicken Growers Association to collectively bargain with Inghams, Baiada and Golden Cockerel for ten years in the absence of a state-based statutory exemption.

The ACCC says collective bargaining arrangements can lead to transaction cost savings and provide broiler chicken growers with the opportunity to have effective input into the terms and conditions of their contracts with chicken-meat processors.

Queensland chicken growers and processors have previously been able to - and can still - collectively bargain under an authorisation provided by state legislation. The ability for growers to collectively bargain under this legislation has been in place for approximately 12 years. However, in the context of increasing deregulation of agricultural industries, many states have moved away from legislative collective negotiation schemes, and processors in those states have sought ACCC authorisation. Growers in Queensland can now also collectively bargain under the authorisation issued by the ACCC.

Approximately 58 chicken-growing farms are currently contracted to the three processors in Queensland. The ACCC has previously authorised similar collective-bargaining arrangements for chicken growers in Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

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