By Aimee Chanthadavong

Online traders and small and independent supermarkets have been found to need to do more to comply with the grocery unit pricing code, a labelling system that helps consumers to compare prices and value at the supermarket.

An independent survey commissioned by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found that major supermarkets around the country have achieved a 98 per cent level of compliance while online traders rated only 35 per cent compliance.

Speaking to Retailbiz, Lin Enright said the ACCC is generally pleased with the level of compliance since the code became enforceable on 1 December 2009.

"The survey showed a high level of compliance overall, however compliance with the Code by the smaller retailers that opted into the Code and online retailers was not as good.  Online retailers had the worst compliance and there may be a number of reasons for this, including ignorance of the standard,” she said. 

“The ACCC's ongoing compliance and enforcement work will focus on these retailers.”

According to Enright, for those identified to have failed to meet the standards, the ACCC have provided to assistance to ensure they get it right.

“The ACCC has and continues to assist supermarkets to comply with the unit pricing code.  We have worked with the sector over interpretational issues and we have helped supermarkets who are attempting to comply with the code,” she said. 

“Where we point out errors or omissions we expect supermarkets to correct them quickly, and that has been our experience. If a supermarket has a breach pointed out and does nothing about it, we will institute Court proceedings as quickly as possible to achieve compliance.”