An appalling draft animal welfare bill has been tabled in Vic that looks like it’s been written by activists, and NSW is set to follow suit. They say it’s to replace POCTA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act) which has served the state well over many years. In addition to many other “Nasties” this proposed bill:

  • will give the Minister the power to “delete” a whole industry with the stroke of a regulation, with no oversight by parliament.
  • will give the Minister unlimited power to impose “guidelines” that are not in accordance with nationally agreed guidelines
  • will give the Minister unlimited power to impose “monitoring” without consent and at any time, on any industry, if there is a prosecution.
  • will appoint “Authorised Officers” who can enter your property at any time “on suspicion”
  • Authorised Officers will have the power to search, seize, enter your residence, and euthanase  – but there is no requirement on them to euthanase humanely!

The Coalition RECKON IT’S A DONE DEAL but ACGC and VCGC have submitted on your behalf anyway. TO SEE THE ACGC SUBMISSION  CLICK HERE. To see the VCGC submission CLICK HERE

The ACMF (Australian Chicken Meat Federation, for which ACGC is a member) also made a submission on behalf of the whole industry, including the processors. to see the ACMF submission, CLICK HERE.

Remember, it’s your membership of your farming group that is the only thing standing between you and automatic adoption of any law that any activist wants to put up – congratulate yourself on your foresight!


The ACCC has launched a nationwide review of supermarkets, including all of their supply chains. That includes the poultry meat supply chain, and another chance to push our claim for a Mandatory Code of Conduct for the poultry meat sector.

the ACCC Issues paper can be found HERE. ACGC has responded to the Issues paper and our submission on your behalf can be found by CLICKING HERE. Many thanks to the entire Tasmanian growout and all the ACGC Directors who read the whole draft submission and added truly excellent comments!  The submission covers both industry issues and supply chain issues, and recognises that the processors can have just as rough a time with supermarket demands as they demands they are putting on growers. However, that is no excuse for the appalling behaviours we have seen in recent times. It’s worth remembering that processors have NO interest in whether your business survives or not, they just want cheap prices and they figure there are always people out there that will buy and operate meat poultry farms.

The ACCC has a whole year to report, and is likely to have public hearings. If so, ACGC will try to attend on your behalf. In the meantime, if you are talking to your local elected member of parliament, (whichever party) remind them of how much the meat poultry sector needs a Mandatory Code of Conduct.







The NFF, under commission from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, have completed the Final Report examining regulatory options for the Chicken Meat industry.

It recommends a mandatory Code of Conduct, and the supermarkets have agreed.  SEE THE FINAL REPORT HERE. Even if the whole document is just a “meal too large”, start at page 140 and see exactly what the processors are saying about you!

The processors appear to have declared war on all growers. In addition to the above, they have been running around Canberra telling anyone who would listen that no Code is needed because there is no risk in growing chickens. It’s been reported that they have now engaged a PR firm (just like big tobacco did once!) to push their case with Parliamentarians. Reports out of growers meetings are that they are engaging in a new level of thuggery, threat and intimidation.

Growers have wanted government help for more than 20 years. The goal (a Code of Conduct) is in sight, but we have to get over the processors’ hill to get there. If you do not get this Code, your income will continue to be eroded, processors will start stratifying growers by shed type or region and driving them to bankruptcy in groups. They DO NOT care if your business survives, they only care about their shareholders. IT’S NOW OR NEVER!

So what’s the next step/s?

  1. We have to get government to agree. That is best done by EVERY SINGLE GROWER SEEING YOUR LOCAL MEMBER. Don’t know your electorate? SEE HERE. Don’t know the name of your local MP even if you do know your electorate? Put your electorate name into the box ON THIS PAGE. Then just phone the electorate office and tell them you are an elector and ask for an appointment. When  you go into the appointment, a small donation to their electoral campaign is VERY well received (around $100+) and give them the briefing note that you can download BRIEFING NOTE HERE. You can go to see your MP in groups, and if everybody goes then nobody will be singled out for “special attention”.
  2. Then we have to get the government to agree on the words to be in the Code.  If we do our job well, the Code in the Report will be adopted. Otherwise it will be a knock-down-draq-’em-out-line-by-line battle for the words in the Code.  Your membership is the ONLY thing standing between you and a Code, because we can’t fund the fight otherwise.
  3. Join the Fighting Fund! ACGC will take all donations and put it into a special account used only for this purpose. You will receive personal updates on where the spend is going.
  4. Support your elected farming representatives! They are the only thing standing between you and “NO CODE”. They are putting in huge amounts of work on your behalf. Even the occasional kind word or email goes a long way…
  5. Then we have to get it into Regulation. If we have done our job right, that should be a smooth ride, but since nothing about this process has been smooth, expect trouble!


Food and Grocery Code Review: Growers helping Processors?

in last month’s newsletter we mentioned we had a seat for live consultation with former Labor frontbencher and PhD economist Dr Craig Emerson at the Food and Grocery Code review. ACGC developed a submission on behalf of growers – remembering that it’s not only the growers that are being “got at” by supermarkets; but because they are proxies for the supermarkets, processors are bring “got at” as well.


NFF Interim Report on Code of Conduct; Allan Fels and APIA and Processor Responses, ACGC responses.

One month ago, the NFF Interim Report recommended a Mandatory Code of Conduct for poultry meat growers. The report can be found HERE

ACGC has responded HERE

Since then, plenty has happened including some quite remarkable allegations against growers! Read on for the full timeline including updates from APIA and the Processors.

The NFF report identified that:

  • There is an imbalance of power between growers and processors
  • Supermarkets have thrown their support behind a mandatory Code and are willing to state this publicly.
  • The most efficient way to provide countervailing power is likely to be a Mandatory Code.

ACGC has noted that:

  • the timelines for the project have been too slow
  • growers only receive around 3% of the retail price of poultry, so prices are unlikely to rise if there is a mandatory code
  • the wording of the proposed mandatory Code is generally OK, but does leave some things out.
  • the report appears to have “swallowed whole” the processor allegations and claims without analysis and just plonked them into the report with no critical review – which ACGC has now provided.

In the meantime, on 7th Feb, Prof Allan Fels released an ACTU sponsored report that identifies that:price rises for business

  • prices have risen by an extraordinary amount since CoViD, largely due to the lack of competition in many sectors.
  • that government monopoly and industry concentration, particularly duopolies are resulting in price rises high than that which would be seen even with a cartel
  • that the Food and Grocery Code of Practice, which is currently voluntary, should be made mandatory – which is an interesting commentary on voluntary Codes that is useful to growers,
  • that government needs to take immediate action in the ChildCare, Energy, Aviation, Banking, Energy, Shipping costs affecting FNQ and NT, Food/Grocery, Electric Vehicles, Pharmaceuticals and “out of pocket” medical expenses sectors.

On that basis, we have calculated that growers only receive around 3% of the retail cost of chicken, considering the different value-added cuts and using supermarket retail pricing. The lends the lie to processor protestations that a Code will “dramatically increase the price of chicken”.



In two separate responses to the report, APIA and the processors noted that, as well as other things:

  • growers were happy with the status quo because not all of them attended workshops or responded to the survey.
  • banks were happy with the status quo because they were not putting restrictions on lending
  • growers are not part of the meat poultry supply chain because they do not own the chickens
  • growers have no risk in their business
  • growers are adequately paid
  • any change to the growing fee will increase prices.


ACGC also notes that growers receive less than 3% of the retail cost of chicken, and that 90% of any grow fee price rise will be captured by processors and supermarkets.



NOW is the time to let you elected MP know that we NEED THIS MANDATORY CODE! You are an elector, you have the right to visit your MP and make your voice heard. THIS IS LITERALLY “NOW OR NEVER”  – if you don’t get this Code, your grow fee to costs ratio will continue to fall. CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO SEE YOUR MP RIGHT NOW?  If you can be bothered advocating for YOUR BUSINESS with your local MP, we have briefing notes available FOR YOU HERE: 24 02 Ministerial Briefing