New Zealand companies exporting to Australia can now access an online course on the Australian Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, under a special arrangement between the NZ Food and Grocery Council and retail marketing and strategy company NextGen. The Code introduces a new regime for fair dealing in the industry and has the potential to improve trading relationships between retailers and suppliers, including New Zealand suppliers.

The course supports suppliers’ understanding of the Code obligations, legal requirements, and teaches them how to get maximum benefit from it. It’s the same course used by Australian companies, and completion will mean suppliers become accredited practitioners of the Code.

The material is interactive and contains a high proportion of video instruction. There is a certification process that includes completion of quizzes throughout 12 modules, and a final test.

Total time to complete the modules, including the assessment, is 4-5 hours and this can be completed at participants’ own pace and in multiple sessions. The material used is the same as in NextGen’s classroom sessions.

Tutoring, online or by email, is also available, along with phone-based support.

FGC Chief Executive Katherine Rich said a working knowledge of the Code is vital for New Zealand companies selling into Australia.

“Knowing how the Code works is an essential part of doing business across the Tasman, and this course will arm our people with the knowledge they need to work best in that very tough market.

“Existing exporters and those looking at selling into Australia will find this a very valuable tool.”

The training is available to both members and non-members of FGC and can be accessed through the FGC website.