REFORM: Growcom chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie.
REFORM: Growcom chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie. Contributed

Growers need a fair go in market system: Growcom

HORTICULTURE industry body Growcom has demanded the Federal Government strengthen the Horticulture Code of Conduct to protect farmers after a NewsMail investigation revealed Bundaberg growers were owed millions.

Growcom CEO Pat Hannan said the consignment system at produce markets across the country needed to change.

"We strongly support the requirement that for agency-style transactions, growers must be given the gross sale price of the horticulture produce, including the type, quantity and quality of horticulture produce sold," he wrote in Queensland Country Life.

The code was reviewed by the government which delivered a report in February, but the recommendations have not been put into action.

"We need the Horticulture Code Review implemented and real time pricing," Growcom chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie said.

Disasters like the debt facing Bundaberg sweet potato growers, reported in Saturday's NewsMail, "is why we have the code, but it is not enforced (enough) and there is poor coverage."

The code is due to expire in April 2017 unless remade.