Check the fine detail in EPRs

18 May, 2005 08:45 PM

GROWERS should consider not signing seed and end point royalty (EPR) agreements when the rights and obligations weigh heavily against them.

WAFarmers legal spokesman Phil Brunner said that during the past six months, he had examined some seed agreements which appeared to provide numerous rights and limited obligations to the seed supplier.

"On the other hand, the grower is beset with numerous onerous obligations and extremely limited rights," he said.

Mr Brunner said that on the face of it, the EPR agreements he had seen placed imposts on growers in terms of keeping records, reporting requirements, the ability to on-sell seed and unfettered access to the grower's property.

He said parts of the agreements he had examined could also potentially breach the Trade Practices Act, but taking legal action would be costly and delay the process involved in seeking a solution.

Mr Brunner conceded that agreements from other companies might include different conditions to the ones he had witnessed.

He said WAFarmers and the Agriculture Department were meeting next week to deal with PBR issues on an industry level.


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