The ACCC is proposing to grant authorisation, for a 10-year period, to enable members of the NSW Farmers’ Association to form common interest grower groups.
These groups would be able to collectively bargain under the terms and conditions of contracts with the relevant poultry processor.
According to the ACCC, existing NSW legislation already allows chicken and turkey growers to collectively bargain, but this authorisation would allow them to continue if the NSW legislation is removed. It would also give duck growers the ability to do so.
Doctor Michael Schaper, deputy chair, ACCC, said: "Collective bargaining will allow poultry growers to share transaction costs, such as employing expert advisors, which can improve their input into contracts.
"The arrangement may lead to more efficient contracts, which better reflect the circumstances of the growers and processor."
Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, said the ACCC.