On July 6, a consultation document on the mandatory Grocery Code of Conduct was published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

This followed several months of work that involved the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council and the major grocery retailers.

Submissions closed on August 10 and MBIE is now doing further analysis to inform the policy decisions considered by the Cabinet. These decisions are expected in October.

The consultation paper provided a preliminary analysis of options, including an assessment of each option against relevant criteria.

The paper followed the possible structure for the contents of a Code, to provide insight into what a Code might look like. The content is:

  • Which grocery retailers should be bound by the Code
  • Including a purpose statement within the Code and the overarching obligations of good faith or fair dealing
  • Requirements for grocery supply agreements
  • Obligations regarding the conduct of designated grocery retailers in relation to product supply and placement, payment terms and promotions
  • Dispute resolution
  • Monitoring, compliance and enforcement matters

The consultation paper