The Food and Grocery Code of Conduct still operates as a voluntary code. There could be numerous reasons on why it is still a voluntary code. Firstly, voluntary code moves the onus of responsibility on the organizations themselves. Now organizations such as Cole and Tesco are seen to have created ethical breach scenarios in their working. Now when they adopt voluntary codes to guide their future working, it would serve to help them be more accountable for their actions. Self-regulation is as important as enforcement. Organizations would be more efficient as well and would be able to minimize negative impact and image issues.
Consider how Cole has treated its suppliers. This would have created some amount of reputational damage for Cole. Now if Cole was to adopt self-regulation like the one offered by a voluntary code, get signed up for the code and work on improving the code, then it would be possible for it to regain its reputation to a certain extent. In addition, the organization would also be able to work hand in hand with the existing government regulatory agencies as well. Regulatory burdens would reduce (ACCC, 2017). They can invite public participation in the attempt and this would help them regain their reputation with their consumers. In fact, this would motivate the company to be an industry leader of some sort, as they would be able to work across jurisdictional and constitutional obstacles to solve such ethical issues for the company (Hughes, 2005).
In addition to these, one more reason that ACC might not have moved for the code to be turned into the law is because of the grey zone. A regulation would be more of a best practice, or an ethical endeavour. It need not necessarily be mapped into a law properly; the ACC could simply wait to understand the more optimal way by which it can map it into a law and then might elect to do it.