Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

Ensure the Adjudicator has teeth

The introduction of an Adjudicator to ensure fairness in the supply chain comes as a relief for farming the NFU said, but warned major improvements to last year’s draft Bill are needed if it is to be effective.

Announced during today’s Queen’s Speech, the Adjudicator has support from all the main political parties to ensure that the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) is working properly.

NFU President Peter Kendall said: “Farmers and growers will be relieved at this announcement. We now hope the government will confirm its commitment to levelling the playing field in the grocery supply chain by introducing the Bill early in the new session, which starts today. The overwhelming support the Bill already has in Parliament should ensure its swift passage and perhaps we will have an Adjudicator up-and-running before the third anniversary of the GSCOP in early 2013.

“However, we remain concerned that government plans to include complicated and unnecessary provisions in the Bill will fetter the Adjudicator’s ability to investigate unfair practices by the major supermarkets. It is vital it has the power to take credible evidence from reputable sources, and to use its judgment to assess its worth, before launching an investigation. At present, the ability of third parties such as trade associations to provide such evidence is likely to be prohibited by the Bill, something which will seriously hinder the effectiveness of the Adjudicator.

“I recognise that some supermarkets are taking positive steps to work constructively with their suppliers and to invest in the long-term health of British farming. But retailers are too inclined to undo this good work by focusing on their own short-term financial performance and this all too often means abusing their position.

“While today we move one step closer to a better functioning supply chain, there’s still work to be done. We applaud the government for sticking to its commitment to introduce an Adjudicator, but warn that to introduce one without the powers to do a proper job could in fact be counter-productive, entrenching unfair practices in the grocery supply chain even more deeply.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.