The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is targeting Murray Goulburn’s lack of notice to suppliers over last year’s dramatic price cut in action to be taken in the Federal Court.
The ACCC announced today it has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against the co-operative, alleging it engaged in unconscionable conduct and made false or misleading representations.
The ACCC also alleges that former managing director Gary Helou and former chief financial officer Bradley Hingle were ‘‘knowingly concerned’’ in Murray Goulburn’s conduct.
‘‘The allegations relate to representations made by Murray Goulburn to its Southern Milk Region dairy farmers between June 2015 and April 2016 about the average farmgate milk price (FMP) it expected to pay them during financial year 2015/16 (FY16),” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“The ACCC alleges that Murray Goulburn’s conduct had an adverse impact on many farmers who, as a result of Murray Goulburn’s representations regarding the farmgate milk price, had made business decisions.”
‘‘The farmers relied on Murray Goulburn’s representations and were not expecting a substantial reduction in the farmgate milk price, particularly so close to the end of the season when it was not possible for them to practically readjust their expenditure,” Mr Sims said.
In a statement released this morning, Murray Goulburn said it is considering the proceedings, however notes that ACCC has decided not to seek a pecuniary penalty against the company.
To read more about the Murray Goulburn saga, take a look at some of our past stories: