The Code sets out a series of rights and obligations that apply between people trading in horticulture produce, including a requirement to have a written contract called a Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA).
Not sure how your HPA should look? The ACCC has produced template HPAs for both merchant and agent relationships with growers.
It’s also in a business’ interest to have an HPA because it protects it. It ensures there is transparency in the relationship between growers and traders so that each has a clear understanding of the terms under which they are trading.
As your HPA defines a trading relationship, it can’t just be put away and forgetten about. Businesses need to make sure they are acting within the terms of their HPAs. The Code also has record keeping obligations that, among other things, say they need to keep a copy of all their HPAs.
At the very latest, businesses have until 1 April 2018 to be fully compliant with the Code., so whether one is a grower or a trader, now is the time to put a HPA in place because it is against the law to trade in horticulture produce without one.
Those who are unsure whether they need to comply with the Code, or what their obligations are, are recommended to visit the Horticulture Code page on the ACCC website. It has a lot of helpful information about the Code, including FAQs based on questions it has received from other growers and traders.
Source: ACCC via PMA A-NZ