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Case for Groceries Adjudicator Presented To MPs

30 June 2011
National Farmers Union

UK - Food and agricultural industry representatives gave evidence this week to a House of Commons committee on how a new Groceries Code Adjudicator would help put an end to unfair supply chain practices by the big supermarkets.

National Farmers' Union President Peter Kendall was in Parliament speaking to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, which is scrutinising the government’s draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill.

He was joined by Terry Jones, Director of Communications for the Food and Drink Federation, as well as Stewart Houston, Chairman of the National Pig Association.

“We have campaigned for more than a decade on this issue and this meeting provided another opportunity for the NFU to emphasise how important it is that the Adjudicator is fit for purpose, helping to create a fairer functioning grocery supply chain,” said Mr Kendall.

He told the committee that there was still considerable room for improvement in the draft Bill.

In particular, he stressed the need for it to be given the power to take credible evidence from a wider range of sources, including representative bodies like the NFU, when deciding to launch an investigation into supermarket practices, and it should be able to impose fines on retailers found to be in breach of the code.

Last week, the Efra Select Committee recommended that the Adjudicator be given broader powers than those found in the draft Bill, such as allowing third parties like the NFU to make complaints on behalf of their members. This followed Mr Kendall’s appearance at the EFRA committee the previous week.

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