FGC meets with Grocery Commissioner and ComCom

FGC meets with Grocery Commissioner and ComCom

NZFGC board members and the Chief Executive met with the Grocery Commissioner and officials from the Grocery Team at the Commerce Commission on 7th December.

Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley shared the following news in an update to members. “We discussed a range of topics including Grocery Supply Agreements (GSAs), pressure to accept a merchandising term, whole wholesale regime, delisting as a result of category and range reviews, making anonymous complaints, process for considering merger applications, powers to investigate, proactive guidance, dispute resolution scheme consultation and collective bargaining.”

Key points for members to be aware of include:

•        the ComCom are reviewing documents that form grocery supply agreements from each of the three Regulated Grocery Retailers (RGRs)

•        the ComCom intend to provide guidance by way of a checklist for suppliers to assist them as they negotiate GSAs with RGRs

•        the grace period for RGRs to have GSAs in place with suppliers is six months and ends on 24 March 2024

•        it is critical that suppliers understand this deadline is for RGRs to have offered GSAs to suppliers, NOT for negotiations to have concluded and/or for GSAs to be signed

•        parties are required to operate in good faith and RGRs are not to apply duress to suppliers to sign agreements

•        suppliers are advised not to contract out of any protections the code provides unless there is a clear benefit to them and they freely agree to the arrangement

•        we encourage suppliers to seek legal advice on their GSAs and to attend the training NextGen offers on behalf of NZFGC

•        the ComCom are gathering feedback about the wholesale regime and how it is working in its early stages. Further information will follow regarding this process and how members can be involved

•        the ComCom are well advanced on establishing their anonymous complaints system and expect it to be available to suppliers at the end of January. Further information will follow closer to the time

•        we discussed at a high level the process for the clearance application from FSNI and FSSI and noted our intention to represent supplier views in this important process

•        we acknowledged the Dispute Resolution Scheme rules are out for consultation and signalled our intention to submit on these as well.

•        we agreed to set up a schedule of meetings between the NZFGC Board and CE and that Grocery Commissioner and officials to enable regular discussions. 

A reminder for anyone wanting to get in touch with the Grocery Team at the Commerce Commissioner that the contact email is market.regulation@comcom.govt.nz

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