FEDERAL Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has flagged a “root and branch review” of the Competition and Consumers Act, particularly in relation to unconscionable conduct by big companies that exploit their buying power to the detriment of small farmers.
Mr Joyce, who visited Mildura yesterday for talks with leaders of the local horticultural industries, told a media briefing his goal as agriculture minister was to ensure Australian farmers received the best possible return at the farm gate for their produce.
Industry groups informed Mr Joyce of the devastating financial impact on growers of the rock-bottom prices that major wineries were paying for wine grapes, and opportunistic buying by the big supermarkets, which have cashed in by offering to buy unsold table grapes from local growers at take-it-or-leave-it prices.
“I’ve been aware of these issues since the start of my political career, and put it in my maiden speech to parliament,” Mr Joyce said.
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Centre stage: Mallee MP Andrew Broad hosted a visit to the region yesterday by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who met with industry groups to discuss a range of issues affecting farmers. Pictures: David Sickerdick
Peas in a pod: Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce pictured with federal Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad during his visit to Mildura yesterday.
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