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The Australian chicken meat industry is part of a worldwide marketing phenomenon where chickens are 'crossing the road' in record numbers in response to consumer demand and efficient 'farm to food' systems. Processor vertical integration is at the heart of system efficiency, with farmer growing services secured by exclusive contracts. However, vertically integrated “tied” growers have limited ability to enter into true negotiations with processors, prompting the search for a scheme that balances the need to foster true negotiation against market freedom and compliance with National Competition Policy. This paper briefly compares the range of legislation regulating the chicken meat industry in Australia and provides an in-depth discussion of the merits of a South Australian Bill, the Chicken Meat Industry Bill, to replace the Poultry Meat Industry Act.


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