Supermarket Adjudicator Bill expected in May Queen's speech
A GROCERIES Code Adjudicator (GCA) Bill is likely to be included in the Queen’s Speech on May 9.
This will finally pave the way for the legislative process to establish the new body that will monitor behaviour in the supply chain by overseeing the Grocery Supply Chain Code of Practice (GSCOP), which came into force in 2010.
But NFU president Peter Kendall has expressed concern that, however, current Government plans for the new body, outlined in a Draft Bill last year, do not go far enough.
One of the biggest concerns is that the draft Bill does not currently permit third parties, like the NFU, to initiate investigations, although the NFU said the Government was prepared to consider changing its stance on this issue.
The other major concern is that Ministers do not intend to give the new watchdog the power to fine retailers who breach the Code. Instead it intends to rely, initially at least, on ‘naming and shaming’.
Mr Kendall and NFU horticulture chair Sarah Pettittt told the recent NFU council meeting, in Warwickshire, that it was essential that both sanction were made available to the Adjudicator.
Mr Kendall said the NFU was pressing these points with the Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb, the Business Minister now in charge of the Bill.
He said there was an urgent need for the new body, as retailers were currently ´behaving badly´ and putting ‘immense pressure on supply chain’.