The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill begins report stage, a further chance for line by line scrutiny, today (Monday 16 July).
Members will examine the establishment of a groceries code adjudicator and its duties to enforce the groceries code and ensure that large supermarket retailers treat their suppliers fairly and lawfully.
A number of amendments have been made by members and are detailed in the marshalled list. Amendments include a new clause which recommends a report on into the effectiveness and scope of the Groceries Code before the implementation of the governing body that will ensure the code is followed by large retailers. There are also a number of amendments detailing the role and responsibilities of the adjudicator.
The Groceries Adjudicator Bill so far
About the Groceries Adjudicator Bill
The bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 10 May and examines the practices of larger supermarket chains with their suppliers, including farmers and small-scale producers.
Following a report published by the Competition Commission in 2008 concerns were raised that retailers were demanding retrospective charges from suppliers and altering contractual arrangements.
The new groceries code will apply to the UK's ten 'large' retailers, each with a turnover of more than one billion pounds in groceries. The code will ensure that retailers:
- deal fairly and lawfully with suppliers
- do not vary supply agreements retrospectively
- pay suppliers within a reasonable time.
What is report stage?
Report stage gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to examine and make changes, known as amendments, to a bill.
Report stage usually starts 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).
Before report stage starts, all member's amendments are recorded and published. The day before a report stage debate the amendments are grouped into related subjects and placed in order - a marshalled list.
During report stage detailed line by line examination of the bill continues. Any member of the Lords can take part and votes can take place.
After report stage the bill is reprinted to include all the agreed amendments. The bill then moves to third reading for the final chance for the Lords to debate and amend the bill.