Coles and Woolworths are reported to still be in negotiations with peak body, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) over a voluntary code of conduct.
The slowdown in negotiations is said to be due to pressure from agribusiness leader Donald McGauchi, who urged the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to accelerate its investigation into alleged misuse of power in regards the duopoly’s suppliers.
In addition to ACCC investigations, both Coles and Woolworths are said to be unable to reach an agreement over the infamous private labelling issue.
The AFGC has been pushing for the retailers to employ separate buying teams for private label products to avoid the occurrence of ‘knock off’ versions of established branded products. However, the supermarkets deem that maintaining separate buying teams would be too costly.
Chairman of cattle giant, The Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) Donald McGauchie, has also encouraged the ACCC to speed up its investigation into alleged bullying tactics that the supermarkets are using to pressure suppliers.
“There are some accusations made against the supermarkets that I have heard some a number of sources that need investigation and the ACCC needs to do that,” said McGauchie.
“They need to have sensitive was of doing that because people tell m they are concerned about the way supermarkets treat them and are concerned that is they are seen to be making comments about that publicly, it would endanger their business.”
A new round of negotiations for the voluntary code will take place next month.