Draft new federal grocery unit pricing legislation released for comment

The federal government is seeking comments on an exposure draft of a new grocery unit pricing code to replace the current code which sunsets on 1 October 2021.

The exposure draft, explanatory information, and the outcomes of the review that started in late 2018, are available here.

The closing date for comments is Monday 14 June.

The unit price is the price per unit of measure (for example per 100g or per 100mL of a product and is provided in addition to the selling price).

Unit prices help consumers to compare values, make better informed choices, and save time and money.

Submissions from consumers and other stakeholders recommended changes to the current provisions. However, none of these have been included in the draft code the provisions of which are identical to those in the current code.

The main changes recommended by CFA and other consumer groups were:

  • To make it much easier for consumers to notice and read unit prices.
  • To require more grocery retailers to provide unit prices.
  • To require some non-grocery retailers to provide unit prices.

The only change proposed to the current arrangements by the federal government is for the ACCC to review and update its guidance for retailers on unit pricing displays to take account of some of the feedback in submissions to the review.

The non- confidential submissions on the 2018 Discussion Paper and the results of an online consumer survey, which attracted 3733 responses, are available here.

CFA will make a submission on the draft new code calling for changes to increase its effectiveness and scope. Other consumer organisations and individual consumers are encouraged to do the same and to contact Ian Jarratt at ijarratt@australiamail.com if they require any more information or assistance.

Submissions can be lodged by email consumerlaw@treasury.gov.au or posted to: Consumer Policy Unit, Market Conduct Division, Treasury, Langton Cres, Parkes, ACT 2600