NZFGC has met with the Grocery Commissioner and Commerce Commission officials to discuss a range of issues.

NZFGC Board members, Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley, Grocery Commissioner Pierre van Heerden and officials from the Grocery Team at the Commerce Commission met last Thursday.

Raewyn Bleakley has told members in an update the topics included 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.

She said the key points for members to be aware of include:

  • the Commission is reviewing documents that form grocery supply agreements from each of the three Regulated Grocery Retailers (RGRs)
  • the Commission intends intends 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 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 Grocery Supply Code provides unless there is a clear benefit to them and they freely agree to the arrangement
  • suppliers are encouraged to see legal advice on their GSAs and to attend the training NextGen offers on behalf of NZFGC
  • the Commission is 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 Commission is well advanced on establishing its anonymous complaints system and expect it to be available to suppliers at the end of January. Further information will follow closer to the time
  • the meeting discussed at a high level the process for the clearance application from FSNI and FSSI and noted NZFGC’s intention to represent supplier views in this important process
  • NZFGC acknowledged the Dispute Resolution Scheme rules are out for consultation and signalled its intention to submit on these as well
  • The meeting agreed to set up a schedule of meetings between the NZFGC Board and Chief Executive, and the Grocery Commissioner and officials to enable regular discussions.