By James Atkinson
Wine industry people who have dismissed the new code of conduct between Australian winemakers and Woolworths as "motherhood" are missing two important points, according to Winemakers Federation of Australia president, Tony D'Aliosio.
Opening the Wine Industry Outlook Conference in Adelaide this morning, D'Aliosio said compliance with the code, where a public company is involved, will be formally reviewed at the retailer's highest management levels.
"This public accountability will ensure the code drives cultural change within the retailers," he said.
"The other aspect is a legal one. There will be risks that non-compliance with our Code could be evidence in other legal actions, eg claims of unconscionable conduct… hence ongoing compliance will be important. Hardly motherhood!"
D'Aliosio said the Woolies code and a similar agreement soon to be announced with Coles will be significant in changing the behaviour of the retailers, "which we are already seeing within Woolworths and in the way terms are negotiated".