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Consultation Begins On Supermarket Body

Consumer minister Kevin Brennan today announced the next step in the Governments plan to put in place a body to enforce compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

Launching a consultation on the powers and operation of the body,
Kevin Brennan said:

Today were pushing ahead with our plans for a new body to ensure free and fair competition and that the grocery supply market continues to work in the long-term best interest of consumers.

Its important to hear peoples views on exactly how the body should operate, its nature and exact role. This consultation will enable us to take informed and responsible decision on the make up of the new body that will balance the needs of suppliers, the supermarkets and consumers.

Farming Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:
The new body will need to strike a balance between ensuring consumers can get access to high quality food and that farmers and food producers get a fair deal.

The consultation will give farmers, food producers, consumers and retailers the chance to say how this balance should work.

The launch of the consultation comes the day after the new Code of Practice came into force, meaning that the body can be established as soon as possible.

1.  The Competition Commission (CC) found that that large grocery retailers were passing on excessive risks and unexpected costs to their suppliers. The CC failed to obtain voluntary undertakings from retailers to set up a GSCOP monitoring body. On 4 August 2009 the CC recommended that BIS take steps to set up, as soon as practicable, a monitoring body that can levy penalties on large grocery retailers for GSCOP non compliance.

2. On 13 January the Government announced that it intended to go-ahead with the Competition Commissions recommendation to set up a body to monitor and ensure compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

3. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and the consultation document is available at

Please contact the Department for Business press office on 0207 215 3496 for more information.

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