Having taken evidence from farmers and food producers on the draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have written to colleagues completing pre-legislative scrutiny calling for the addition of two further powers for the proposed Adjudicator.
Click here to read the letter from EFRACOM to Chair of BIS Committee (PDF) ( PDF 94 KB)
Publishing the letter, Anne McIntosh, Chair of the Committee, said:
“EFRA Committee is keen to ensure the new Adjudicator will adequately protect farmers and food producers from large retailers. We have written to our colleagues on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee about the evidence we have received.
“For many years there has been a ‘climate of fear’ in the groceries supply chain. We therefore endorse the provision in the draft Bill that will allow the Adjudicator to receive anonymous complaints from direct or indirect suppliers about retailers breaking the Groceries supply Code.
“However, we also believe the Government should amend the legislation to allow trade organisations to make complaints on behalf of farmers and food producers reluctant to jeopardise their commercial relationships.
“We also recommend that the Adjudicator should be able to undertake pro-active investigations and that the Adjudicator should have the power to impose financial penalties as soon as it is established.
"Having set out our views on the Government’s proposals we hope the BIS Committee will reflect our conclusions in its report to the House.