The Government is calling time on the bullying behaviour of the big supermarket chains. Its announced plans for a mandatory code of conduct, compulsory unit pricing and other measures after it found the industry was not supporting consumers and competition was stifled. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Duncan Webb says the new rules will initially apply to the two main supermarket chains, Woolworths, formerly Countdown, and Foodstuffs, which runs the Pak’nSave, New World and Four Square brands. The code requires supermarkets to act in good faith with suppliers, to pay them on time and bans retrospective contract changes. It comes into force on September 28 and breaches of the code will result in penalties with fines up to $3 million or 3% of turnover, whichever is the greater. Individuals face fines of up to $200,000.
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