Government urged to act quickly on ombudsman

EVERY day the Government delays setting up a supermarket watchdog risks putting more farmers and growers out of business, the chairman of the national Grocery Market Action Group has warned.

The LibDem MP for St Ives, Andrew George said the Government should ‘waste no more time’ and Ministers should ensure the draft Grocery Adjudicator Bill becomes law as soon as possible.

Mr George, who has led the campaign for the creation of an adjudicator since 2000, said it was ‘already years overdue’.

“Every day of delay risks more food producers going to the wall. Those not at immediate risk of going out of business are struggling as a direct result of the market distorting power wielded by the large supermarkets.

“The proposed adjudicator now has cross-party support. The Government has no excuse for any further delays. Some of the large supermarkets still object. But, if they have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear.”

The action group has been campaigning for an adjudicator for almost six years. Its membership includes the NFU, the NFU Scotland, the British Independent Fruit Growers Association, and Friends of the Earth.      

Readers' comments (1)

  • This is obviously a minefield as it interferes with a free market. Farmers need a strong united position from which to negotiate - like we had with the Milk Marketing Board.

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