George welcomes “Supermarket Watchdog with teeth”
St Ives MP Andrew George has welcomed the Government’s announcement that a new supermarket watchdog will have the power to impose fines from day one. A Government amendment will be introduced tomorrow to the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill to allow the Adjudicator to fine large supermarkets who deal with suppliers unfairly.
Mr George, who chairs the Grocery Market Action Group (GMAG) which has been pressing for this legislation for the past seven years, said: “The Government has listened to those who have campaigned on behalf of farmers, growers and other suppliers. This will give the watchdog the teeth necessary to protect suppliers from unfair dealing.”
Liberal Democrat Competition Minister Jo Swinson said: “Where supermarkets are breaking the rules with suppliers and treating them unfairly, the Adjudicator will make sure that they are held to account. We have heard the views of the stakeholders who were keen to give the Adjudicator a power to fine, and recognise that this change would give the Adjudicator more teeth to enforce the Groceries Code. We expect fines to be used as a last resort, but the fact that the Adjudicator has the power to impose them will send a strong message to retailers that compliance with the Code is not optional.”