Proposals welcomed for law to end supermarkets’ exploitation of suppliersJuly 2012
Proposals for a UK law preventing supermarkets from exploiting their suppliers have been endorsed by anti-poverty groups and premium supermarket brand Waitrose.
The government has published a draft of its proposed Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill in response to a Competition Commission report about the relationship between large supermarket chains and their suppliers, among them farmers and small-scale producers.
The bill is intended to give legal weight to a code of conduct that the commission recommended in the 2008 report to counteract supermarkets’ anti-competitive supplier practices.
ActionAid head of policy Meredith Alexander said: “This is fantastic news for millions of farmers and workers around the world who produce goods for British supermarkets.”
However, she warned that the adjudicator had to be enabled to impose fines. “Naming and shaming retailers who break the rules will be important, but this needs backing with the threat of heavy fines,” she said. “We need a watchdog whose bite is worse than its bark.”
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