Received your letter from Elders?

Across the country, many of our members are now receiving a letter from Elders, explaining that the company is committed to managing its COR and animal welfare obligations.

It’s another sign of how the COR message is steadily being absorbed by the big agri-businesses.

The letter declares Elders’ policy, nationwide: “When Elders contacts a Carrier about a potential engagement, Elders is merely making an inquiry. Elders is not demanding that the engagement be performed in a particular way or at particular times. The Carrier must determine whether it is able to perform the engagement safely and the manner in which it will be performed … Carriers may propose an alternative to Elders (for example, different transport times or different transport routes).”

Now, a few of our members have already been in touch, raising a few doubts as to whether their local Elders representative is on the same page as Head Office.

In any business, that’s a great question to ask. And our members aren’t approaching it cynically. The members who contacted me last week had quickly realised that the letter they’ve received has created an opening for us to give Elders our feedback as to whether their agents are all aware of what Head Office has promised, and are reliably behaving in the way that Elders desires.

Of course, that’s why COR is so important. Without this law, you wouldn’t have big business going to the trouble of making promises, in writing, about how they expect their own people to treat you.

But even more importantly, the way that COR law operates, putting the promise down in writing is just the first step. The law requires big businesses to ‘take all reasonable steps’ – and that means a major business must have a credible system for ensuring that what it promises is actually being delivered.

If you come across a situation where any firm that’s part of the Chain of Responsibility isn’t ‘walking the talk’ then tell them. Write to their Head Office, and give a copy to your State Association or the ALRTA.

Elders are to be congratulated for putting this commitment out there, in writing. That certainly puts them ahead of many other firms that are part of the Chain.

But let’s not waste the opportunity to be their ‘eyes and ears’. We can help Elders to make their business better. If you’ve got key feedback, give Anna a call and she’ll put you in touch with the relevant member of National Council.

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