Supermarket Watchdog may have teeth after all!

Posted on: 27th October 2011
Andrew George MP -Industry/Farming

Andrew George MP, who chairs the national Grocery Market Action Group (GMAG), has secured reassurance from Competition Minister Ed Davey MP that Government policy will ensure that the proposed Grocery Adjudicator will have the teeth to mount inquiries into alleged unfair dealing in the supply chain without suppliers being forced to take the risk of raising an individual complaint.

Mr George asked Mr Davey in Business Questions in the Commons today if the Minister would use the opportunity to assure those who, like the GMAG, strongly support the Government’s policy to create an Adjudicator that, when created, it will not require suppliers to risk making an individual complaint to stimulate an inquiry.

Mr Davey reassured Mr George that published evidence from trade associations and similar bodies could be ‘taken into account’ by the Adjudicator when considering whether an investigation could be instigated.

Mr George said:

“This is a vital important clarification and one which needs to be clearly inserted in the Bill itself. In other words, if the NFU were to publish a report into concerns about alleged unfair dealing in the dairy supply chain then that should, under the provisions of this Bill, be sufficient to prompt an Adjudicator investigation. Without this power frankly, the Adjudicator would be a toothless watchdog.”

The GMAG, which includes in its membership the National Farmers Union, the National Farmers Union of Scotland, the British Independent Fruit Growers Association, Friends of the Earth, ActionAid, Traidcraft and other bodies, has been fighting for five years to successfully secure crossbench support for the creation of a new watchdog to ensure there is fair dealing in the grocery supply chain.


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