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Need Help with a Horticulture Dispute? 
The Horticulture Code of Conduct states:

“Growers and traders may use any dispute resolution procedures they choose to resolve horticulture disputes that arise between them.”

The Horticulture Code of Conduct sets out a dispute resolution procedure for horticulture. It applies to the over 12 million horticulture transactions that take place each year between Australian growers and traders of produce for fresh food markets.

Where a grower and a trader have agreed on a dispute resolution procedure which differs from the procedure set out in the Horticulture Code, if one of the parties decides to initiate the procedure set out in the Horticulture Code, the other party must participate in that process as required by the Code.

Our Conciliation & Adjudication service features:

  • • Flexible and engaging
  • • Ease of communication
  • Australia-wide service
  • FIXED price. We are sure of our ability to Use of videoconferencing to enable multiple sessions


Resolve your Dispute by combined CONCILIATION & ADJUDICATION

The Horticulture industry needs different types of dispute resolution assistance.

Whereas the Code only identifies a mediation service. We provide a better resolution process to resolve your dispute – Conciliation and Adjudication

In 2015 when the Horticulture Code was last reviewed by a Government appointed expert panel it reported that: the current dispute resolution mechanism is irrelevant, inappropriate and largely not adopted by parties in the horticulture sector.

We agree. That is why we provide dispute resolution services needed by the industry and tailored for the issues experienced by its participants – quality of delivered produce; timing of the delivery; payment to growers and price paid.

Our combined process involves the same person acting first as a Conciliator and then, if required, as an Adjudicator.

CONCILIATION The Conciliator facilitates discussion between the parties to resolve the dispute on their own terms and may express an opinion. The Conciliator meets with both parties at the same time to encourage their free flowing discussion.

ADJUDICATION If after the conciliation concludes the parties are unable to reach agreement the Adjudicator, after investigating the complaint and examining the evidence from expert reports and the parties, will make a binding determination.

Derek Minus Horticulture Code resolver

Horticulture Dispute Resolver

Derek Minus is the Horticulture Dispute Resolver.
He can help to resolve your Horticulture dispute NOW.

As the former Commonwealth government mediation Adviser for the horticulture industry, he was appointed to assist parties with the resolution of horticulture disputes.

As a barrister, accredited mediator and chartered arbitrator, he knows how the Horticulture Code works and has the skills to personally assist you.

Services are provided at the same rate specified by the Commonwealth Government of $300 per hour (plus GST). Under the Code, each party is required to pay half the fees.

Service and Support Conflict that can affect your livelihood and business relationship can be stressful. We provide the facilities and personal support to get you into resolution quickly.

Need a conciliated agreement? He can be nominated or call upon over 100 mediators Australia-wide who he can refer for appointment by the parties to conduct the mediation of your dispute.

Want an adjudicated decision? With the agreement of the parties the expense and delay of the court system can be avoided with a the appointment of an expert conciliator or private arbitrator.

Contact the Resolver:

Our Conciliation & Adjudication process has 3-STEPS


Administering your Dispute

When you are ready to proceed to Mediation, we will register your request and assist you provide the information you need to send to the other party. You can upload those documents on-line and we will arrange to email all the material you want to send to them and any other interested parties, like the lawyers.

Because horticulture produce is perishable, we conduct dispute resolution by videoconference so that the parties can take action quickly to understand the nature of the problem and reach resolution. Video-conferencing services are provided at no additional cost, for the conduct of pre-mediation meetings or even the conduct of the mediation.

Our administration staff will personally contact you and the other party to discuss the nature of your dispute, the mediator skills required and the timing of the mediation.

We will refer the dispute to a NMAS accredited mediator who meets your joint criteria.

On-line payment facilities are available to quickly initiate the process. We will prepare the completed mediation agreement for signature as an electronic document and send it to you along with information sheets about the mediation process.

Multiple Growers in Dispute

Disputes are not only about single issue matters. Often a dispute can relate to regional or related matters (like plant breeder rights). For these disputes, a multi-party resolution process can be effective, economical and efficient. 

Whilst the Code of Conducts does not mandate multi-party mediations, many growers who are experiencing similar problems welcome an orderly process of negotiation, conciliation and adjudication that can assist all parties to explore the options and arrive at a joint resolution.

We have specialist skills to work with your grower group to help engage and influence the business relationship.

The recent Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into the franchising industry which has a similar Code process to Horticulture, also requiring “good faith” negotiations, recommended that a mediator or arbitrator be able to undertake multi-franchisee resolutions when disputes relating to similar issues arise.

We have the skills and experience to assist growers and traders explore a similar avenue for resolution.

Use the Horticulture Code mediation process

If you are unable to agree a dispute resolution process, we can assist you to utilise the mediation process provided under the Horticulture Code.

Under clause 40 of the Horticulture Code of Conduct, a party (the produce supplier or trader) can raise a dispute by notifying the other party in writing, by sending them a Notice of Dispute setting out: the complaint is not resolved at the end of the 3-week period allowed for negotiation, either party can request a mediator be appointed to facilitate the discussion and resolution.

The mediator is an independent and accredited professional facilitator (usually a practising lawyer with franchising experience). The mediator will usually set the matter down for mediation to be conducted in the State or Territory in which the franchised business is based.

Once the mediator sets the date and time for the mediation, the other party:
• must attend the mediation
• must negotiate in good faith
• must pay half of the mediation fees

The mediation process is both privileged and confidential. This allows the parties to talk frankly and openly with each other and with their lawyers present (if required). With the mediator’s assistance, the parties aim to design an outcome to resolve the problem as discussed and defined by the parties.