Frequently Asked Questions
What do you do first?
You can fill out an online enquiry form at any time for advice. The PGIO will guide you through the steps you need to take. Your enquiry will be kept confidential. Alternatively, you can call us on our free toll number 1800 206 385.
You are required first to contact the other person and try to resolve the problem through the procedures they have put in place. Everyone in the industry is required to have internal procedures to resolve problems. The PGIO will guide you how to raise the problem with the other person.
If the problem cannot be resolved through those procedures then the PGIO will appoint an Ombudsmanís Representative to meet with you and the other person to assist you to reach agreement. Sometimes it might be necessary for there to be a telephone conference where everyone is too far away from each other to meet.
The Ombudsmanís Representative is not like a judge who can force anyone to accept a decision but is a mediator who helps everyone to reach their own solution. Everyone is free to solve the problem as they wish. Very imaginative solutions can be reached that way.
What is the Cost?
There is a $50 application fee which must be paid to the PGIO before the PGIO appoints an Ombudsmanís Representative. That fee can be waived by the PGIO in very exceptional cases.
The PGIO pays for the Ombudsmanís Representativeís time.
You need to pay your own costs to attend the meeting.
What Happens after an Ombudsmanís Representative is Appointed?
The Ombudsmanís Representative will ask for any travel expenses to be paid in advance. Then he or she will ask you to sign an appointment agreement which makes your meeting confidential between everyone there.
The Ombudsmanís Representative will then discuss with everyone what is an appropriate time and place to meet.
Who are the Ombudsmanís Representatives?
The PGIO has created a panel of independent and neutral people located around Australia. They are trained and experienced mediators and have got to know the main problems about produce supply disputes. They have all agreed to follow the procedures set up by the PGIO.
You will be given a form to send back to PGIO giving your feedback about the meeting with the Ombudsmanís Representative.
What Happens at the Meeting?
The meeting with the Ombudsmanís Representative is relaxed and informal. On average it might only take 2 hours although sometimes it will take longer.
The Ombudsmanís Representative will ask each person to explain the problem as they see it.
Then there will be further discussion until a solution is found by everyone. That will be written down and be binding.
Who Can Come to the Meeting?
You must make sure that you have authority to make a final agreement without checking with anyone else. If someone else has the final word then that person must attend too.
Lawyers are not allowed to attend but you can bring a support person. That person is not an advocate, just someone there to support you.
What Chance is There of Solving the Problem?
In the past almost all problems have been solved.
How Can I Get Further Information?
The PGIO has been set up under a voluntary industry code called the Produce and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct. Further information is available on www.produceandgrocerycode.com.au
If you have any questions at any time please make an online enquiry
or email us
Alternatively, you can call the PGIO on 1800 206 385.
Suite 205, Level 2
370 Pitt Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Tel: 1800 206 385
Fax: 02 9264 8268