George updates farmers on supermarket watchdog

Posted on: 22nd February 2013

Local MP, Andrew George, will offer an update on the progress of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill when he attends an NFU lunch today (Friday 22nd February 2013).

Mr George, who has chaired the Grocery Market Action Group (GMAG) since its creation in 2006, has been leading the campaign for a supermarket watchdog and finally met the recently appointed Grocery Adjudicator, Christine Tacon, a few weeks ago.

GMAG, which includes representatives from the NFU and NFU Scotland, CLA, Friends of the Earth, TRAIDCRAFT, British Independent Fruit-growers’ Association, Action Aid, CPRE, Church of England and others, have urged Ms Tacon to “get to work as soon as possible”.

Mr George said: “The pressure to produce cheap food and big profits for the supermarkets has consequences. It’s not just that horse ends up in processed pies and lasagnes but that ordinary farmers and growers struggle to make a living as farmgate prices can be lower than production costs and producers face unreasonable pressures to cut corners and transfer risk.

“With reformed agricultural policy and lower subsidies, farmers and growers need to be more market facing. But, how can they do that when the supermarkets have them in an armlock. That’s why it’s important that we have a supermarket watchdog to drive out the kind of dodgy practices which the Competition Commission has identified as going on in the grocery supply chain.

“If the supermarkets have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear from this new regulator. And if farmers and growers need reassurance then I hope that the supermarket watchdog will provide that for them.”

The NFU Vice President, Adam Quinney, will also be in attendance together with other Cornish MPs and Cornish NFU officers.


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