NFU Supports BIS Report On Groceries Adjudicator

UK - Proposals to give a Groceries Code Adjudicator more powers to monitor retailers’ behaviour in the food supply chain will go much further to stamping out unfair practices, the National Farmers Union (NFU) said today.
calendar icon 28 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

The NFU’s comments come after the publication of a report on the Draft Groceries Adjudicator Bill by the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee.

It has recommended that the Government makes a number of significant improvements to the Bill such as giving a proposed Adjudicator more power to launch investigations and the ability to impose fines from the outset.

NFU head of government affairs, Nick von Westenholz, said: “It’s good news that the committee has recognised the need for a Groceries Code Adjudicator to be established speedily, to monitor and enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice."

"Moreover, the committee shares the NFU’s view that the draft Bill should be amended and improved before being formally introduced to Parliament."

“In particular, we are extremely pleased to see that the BIS Committee agrees with us that the Adjudicator’s powers should be extended to include information from trade associations, such as the NFU, when deciding whether to launch an investigation into breaches of the code."

"The committee has also recommended that the power to fine retailers for breaches of the code should be available to the Adjudicator from the outset, something we have also argued for strongly."

“The committee should be applauded for the speed in which it has conducted its inquiry and we very much support its call for Government to introduce a formal Bill at the earliest opportunity. Having published the draft Bill so it could be scrutinised by the committee, we hope the Government accepts its recommendations and introduces an improved Bill to Parliament this autumn that ensures an Adjudicator has the scope and depth of powers to enforce the groceries code effectively.”

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