FMA and CMAA come on board as Hort Connections 2017 co-hosts and exclusive Trade Show sponsors


12 January 2017

Media release – For immediate release

FMA and CMAA come on board as Hort Connections 2017 co-hosts and exclusive Trade Show sponsors

Fresh Markets Australia (FMA) and the Central Markets Association of Australia (CMAA), which together represent Australia’s fresh produce markets and their wholesalers, have been announced as official trade show sponsors and co-hosts of Hort Connections 2017.

FMA and CMAA are the latest horticulture industry bodies to co-host the event, alongside AUSVEG, PMA Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), Australian Organic, Onions Australia and Irrigation Australia. Hort Connections 2017, to be held in Adelaide from 15-17 May 2017, will combine the National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections to bring together the largest number of growers, supply chain members, government stakeholders and industry service providers in the Australian horticulture industry.

AUSVEG National Marketing Manager Nathan McIntyre said that the introduction of the two new co-hosts is an exciting development that will open the event to even more people in the industry.

“We are incredibly pleased to have both FMA and CMAA back on board for Hort Connections 2017 after successful partnerships that lead to last year’s National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections being the most successful events in Australian horticulture,” he said.

“The Hort Connections 2017 program will contain the world’s leading horticultural experts to provide industry with the latest information, the return of the hugely successful Trade Show and opportunities for growers, wholesalers, marketers and supply chain members to network.”

“Both organisations offer unique dimensions to the convention through their representation of the fresh produce markets and their wholesalers, and their presence at the Hort Connections 2017 Trade Show will certainly benefit delegates from the entire supply chain,” according to PMA-ANZ CEO Darren Keating.

FMA Chairman Shane Schnitzler said the FMA was excited to join Hort Connections 2017 and anticipates a strong turnout from the wholesaling sector of the Australian fresh produce industry.

“FMA and CMAA have been big supporters of the National Horticulture Convention and PMA Fresh Connections over the years, and we have been strong advocates of the two events coming together to form one national event,” Mr Schnitzler said.

CMAA spokesperson Angelo Demasi said both organisations are looking forward to working with Hort Connections 2017 to build on the success of the two previous events, incorporating world-class speakers, an expansive Trade Show and unparalleled networking opportunities.

“FMA and CMAA are looking forward to welcoming all delegates to the 2017 event and making this the biggest and best horticulture event in Australia,” said Mr Demasi.

The Hort Connections 2017 Trade Show will officially open on Monday 15 May and remain open until Wednesday 17 May. For more information or to register for the event, please visit

 MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications

Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email:


Hort Connections 2017 hosts


AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.


PMA A-NZ is an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA Global), the leading global fresh produce trade association serving member companies around the world and every segment of the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral supply chain.

Australian Organic

Australian Organic is the owner of Australia’s largest organic certification brand, Australian Certified Organic, and is the country’s largest certifier for organic and biodynamic produce. Australian Organic has 1,950 clients, which account for around 80 per cent of all certified organic products sold in Australia.

Onions Australia

Onions Australia is the industry body representing approximately 380 onion growers in Australia.

Irrigation Australia

Irrigation Australia is the peak national organisation representing the Australian irrigation industry in all sectors, from water users, consultants, designers and installers through to education institutions, government, manufacturers and retailers.


The Central Markets Association of Australia (CMAA) is the peak body representing the authorities or owners of the five central wholesale markets around Australia. Fresh Markets Australia (FMA) is the national industry body representing wholesalers and supporting businesses located at these central wholesale markets.

Collectively the CMAA and FMA provide an essential link in Australia’s fruit and vegetable supply chain, handling over four million tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables each year, which represents a value of over $7 billion. CMAA works in partnership with FMA representing Australia’s fresh produce markets.

Fresh Markets Australia's Horticulture Code of Conduct Review Submissions September 2015

Horticulture Code of Conduct Review Recommendations
Responses for Horticulture Code of Conduct Review
Assessment of Horticulture Code of Conduct Review
Horticulture Code of Conduct Review Additional Matters

Wholesalers put their case

Wholesalers 10 key factors - Horticulture Code of Conduct Review
Australian economic impacts - Horticulture Code of Conduct Review
Dispute Resolution & Horticulture Code of Conduct Review
Small business impacts - Horticulture Code of Conduct Review

Clarification on ACCC’s Horticulture Report


31 October 2016

Clarification on ACCC’s horticulture report

Fresh Markets Australia (FMA) has responded to an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) report into fair trading issues in the horticulture industry saying it shares many of the concerns raised over what are unworkable Federal Government regulations.

Both the FMA and ACCC have labelled the Horticulture Code of Conduct, currently under review, as “ineffective” with FMA saying it is unfair, commercially restrictive and administratively onerous.

However, FMA says that while the release of the ACCC’s “Perspectives in horticulture and viticulture” shows some common ground, the wholesaling sector must once again clarify key areas regarding the report’s conclusions.

FMA Chairman, Shane Schnitzler, said FMA gave feedback to the Horticulture Code Review Panel that it agrees that documented terms of trade are important in the wholesaler and grower business relationship.

Contrary to the claims being made about pre-Code Agreements, they have given growers and wholesalers the ability to maintain a flexible and workable commercial relationship, when the regulatory alternative, the existing Code, is inflexible, uncommercial and largely unworkable.

It is illogical for anyone reviewing the Code to be critical of these pre-Code agreements given the unworkable alternative which exists and given that in any event, a grower could tear up the agreement at any time.

“It is also perhaps unfair of the ACCC to suggest that growers are in fear of retribution by wholesalers if they complain when business issues arises,” Mr Schnitzler said.

The fact is that this claim issue is not new. It has been raised in prior reviews by the ACCC, the Federal Government and others, and dates back well over a decade as the reason why growers don’t lodge complaints about the retail chains, processors and wholesalers. This comment has been more commonly heard however, in relation to broader reviews of the Retail and Grocery industry.

Commissioner Keogh therefore has failed to put the issue of retribution into context, when it has been raised in respect of retail chains, processors as well as and wholesalers and has been raised as an issue for well over a decade.

It appears very one-sided that the ACCC now appears to be waving the big stick at small businesses, with threats of increasing regulations and monetary penalties only months after the Voluntary Retail and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct was introduced by the Federal Government with no restrictive regulatory provisions and no monetary penalties.

“FMA does not condone any form of heavy handed tactics within the Central Market System. However, FMA also advocates that growers should not continue to send their produce to a wholesaler that they are not happy doing business with.

“There are more than 400 central market wholesalers in six Central Markets across Australia for the grower to choose from so options do exist,” he said.

Mr Schnitzler said that FMA had supported and requested numerous changes to the current Code which would go a long way towards resolving many of the issues that have been raised by growers and wholesalers over many years.

While agreeing with most recommendations suggested by a Code Review Panel for a revised Code, FMA has challenged the Government as to why monetary penalties should be introduced for breaches, when more than 12 million transactions between growers and Central Market wholesalers are transacted annually and by any measure, there was a low incidence of disputation.

Mr Schnitzler added that ‘the ACCC had not been proactive in talking to FMA and as far as he was aware, Commissioner Keogh appeared to be forming his opinions based upon feedback from a very small number of growers, and without visiting any Central Markets’.

Mr Schnitzler said that despite the differences of opinion which exist and that FMA remains opposed to the introduction of anti-competitive and prescriptive regulations, the organisation has committed to working with the Federal Government and the ACCC to achieve a workable, fair and cost effective Code for the horticulture industry.

– ENDS –

Media Contact

Andrew Young, Executive Director / 0438 388 411


Fresh Markets Australia has welcomed the release of the report of the Independent Review of the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

The report, released on Monday 8 February, includes 13 recommendations to the Federal Government for changes to the Code and its application.

FMA Executive Director Andrew Young said the industry body welcomed the release of the report and was generally satisfied with the majority of its recommendations.

“FMA would like to acknowledge the work of the review authors, Mark Napper and Alan Wein, who spent time travelling around Australia to speak with growers, wholesalers and others and who reviewed a large number of submissions,” Mr Young said.

“While we need time to undertake a thorough review, of the 13 recommendations from the review panel, FMA believes it will be able to support the majority.

“There are a couple of recommendations that we are unlikely to support in their current form, but we acknowledge and welcome the review panel’s recommendation to the Federal Government for further consultation with industry as the proposed Code changes are developed.”

Mr Young said FMA would be an active and informed participant in further discussion and urged the Federal Government to maintain momentum on the Code review by immediately commencing the next phase of consultation.

“We endorse, absolutely, the review panel’s comment that ‘…the Horticulture Code is not intended to substitute good business behaviours, conduct and practices, but rather to support these disciplines through simple, but effective regulation’,” Mr Young said.
“Let’s get on with it.”


Backpacker fiasco is harming horticulture supply chain

“FMA has called on the Federal Parliament to put an end to the political point scoring and agree on the tax rate for Australia’s overseas backpacker labour before more damage is done to the $9 billion horticulture industry.”

Clarification on ACCC’s horticulture report

“FMA says that while the release of the ACCC’s “Perspectives in horticulture and viticulture” shows some common ground, the wholesaling sector must once again clarify key areas regarding the report’s conclusions.”

Code compliance a two-way street

“The task of promoting compliance has been made very difficult because of the unworkable requirements of the Code,”

Andrew Young, Executive Director

Growcom scare campaign calculated to ‘drive wedge between growers and Market wholesalers’

Fresh Markets Australia is outraged that false claims being made by rural lobby group Growcom appear deliberately calculated to drive a wedge between producers and Market wholesalers.

Andrew Young, Executive Director

Our Members

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About Fresh Markets Australia

The Australian Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Industries Limited trading as Fresh Markets Australia (FMA), is the national organisation representing each of the six Market Chambers, which themselves are organisations which represent the fruit and vegetable wholesalers located in each of Australia’s six central Markets (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Newcastle).

In total, the organisation represents in excess of 430 Market wholesaling businesses. Market wholesalers are involved in the sale of some 50-60% of the fresh produce sold across Australia in servicing the requirements of fruit and vegetable retailers, secondary wholesalers/provedores, foodservice industry businesses, processors, exporters and the public. Over 15,000 growers supply to businesses within the Central Market system. The total turnover of businesses in the Central Markets exceeds some $7 billion annually.


Central Markets

Fresh Markets Australia is proud to work collaboratively with the five central produce markets.

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