Australia: The Horticulture Code of Conduct is now in full effect for growers and traders


  • Growers and traders (including agents and merchants) of horticulture produce.


  • The Code imposes a number of mandatory obligations on growers and traders, including the obligation to enter into a written Horticulture Produce Agreement prior to trading.


  • Review all operations in relation to the trade of horticulture produce to ensure you are in compliance with the provisions of the Code.

The Horticulture Code of Conduct (the Code) is a mandatory industry code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) which came into effect on 1 April 2017. The Code replaces the Trade Practices (Horticulture Code of Conduct) Regulations 2006 (Cth) and mandates compulsory written horticulture produce agreements between growers, merchants and agents (traders) and introduces civil penalties for both growers and traders for non-compliance.

Key terms

Terms in this article are references to definitions contained in the Code as per the below:

Key term Meaning
grower a person who grows horticulture produce for sale
agent a person who sells horticulture produce on behalf of a grower to a person for a commission or fee
merchant a person who purchases horticulture produce from a grower for the purpose of resale of that horticulture produce, but does not include:
  • a person who purchases the produce for export by that person, or
  • a person who purchases the produce for retail sale by that person.
trader an agent or merchant
horticulture produce unprocessed fruit, vegetables (including mushrooms and other edible fungi), nuts, herbs and other edible plants. The Code does not specifically define the term 'unprocessed', although the ACCC suggests the ordinary meaning of 'unprocessed' should be used (i.e. produce which has not been converted, altered or modified in some way for the purpose of making it into a new form)

Terms of Trade

Traders must prepare, publish and make publicly available the terms and conditions on which they are prepared to trade with a grower (Terms of Trade), including any updates to the Terms of Trade. The Terms of Trade must comply with the specifications in Part 2 of the Code, which include terms in relation to the Trader's position as an agent or merchant (or both), the delivery, quality (including instances where a trader can reject horticulture produce) and payment timeframes for horticulture produce, and any insurance for the horticulture produce under the trader's control. Agents also have additional disclosure obligations in relation to the commissions, fees and charges applicable to the sale of the horticulture produce on behalf of growers.

Horticulture Produce Agreements

Before a grower and trader can trade in horticulture produce, they must enter into a written Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA). The HPA must comply with the specifications in Part 3 of the Code, including terms in relation to:

  • the trader's position as an agent or merchant (a trader cannot act as an agent and merchant under a single HPA)
  • the quantity, quality (including relevant specifications) and delivery requirements of the horticulture produce (including instances and timeframes in which a trader can reject horticulture produce)
  • any insurance for the horticulture produce under the trader's control
  • the term (if it is fixed), variation and termination processes under the HPA
  • the relevant reporting and statement periods for the trader (in accordance with Part 4 of the Code)
  • payment structure and timeframes for payment to the grower, including:
    • in the case of agents, the rate of and manner in which commissions, fees and extra costs (charges) are charged by an agent and whether the payment of the charges are contingent on any event (i.e. the sale of the horticulture produce), and
    • in the case of merchants, the mechanism used to calculate the price payable by the merchant to the grower for the horticulture produce, whether by way of a method or formula or to be determined before or at the time of delivery.
  • the relevant contact details of the parties in the case of a dispute under the HPA.

HPAs with a term of more than 90 days are also subject to a 'cooling off' period in accordance with section 20 of the Code.

Conduct generally

Part 4 of the Code further regulates the manner in which growers and traders can trade, including minimum standards which should ideally be reflected in the HPA, in relation to the acceptance of the delivery of horticulture produce by the trader, the pooling of horticulture produce and a trader's obligation to exercise due care and skill in handling the horticulture produce.

Where traders are acting as agents, they are required to pay growers the proceeds of sale received for the horticulture produce (less only such amounts agreed under the HPA), act in the best interests of the grower and on an arms length basis in the sale of the horticulture produce, and pursue the grower's bad debts as per the HPA. The agent must also report on its sale of the horticulture produce to the grower in accordance with Part 4 of the Code (including the date the horticulture produce was delivered to and subsequently sold by the agent, the type and quantity of the horticulture produce and price received for its sale, details of amounts deducted by the agent from the sale proceeds, and details of any horticulture produce not sold) within the period agreed under the HPA.

Where traders are acting as merchants, they must not charge growers any other amounts for services than as agreed in the HPA. They must pay the agreed amount in the time period agreed under the HPA or growers may elect to suspend any further deliveries to the merchant until payment is received or terminate the HPA (despite the terms of the HPA). The merchant must also report on the horticulture produce it purchases from the grower in accordance with Part 4 of the Code (including the date the horticulture produce was purchased and subsequently received by the merchant, the quality, quantity and price paid for the horticulture produce, and the gross sale price, details of produce not sold or destroyed (and the reason for such destruction) where the price paid is determined by a method or formula in the HPA) within the period agreed under the HPA.

Failure to comply with the Code may result in civil penalties of up to $63,000 per breach for growers and traders.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions