Appointment of Grocery Code Adjudicator is a major victory for consumers, farmers and the UK as a whole – Jenny Willott MP

January 21, 2013 3:15 PM

Jenny Willott MP at tesco

Christine Tacon was today appointed as the first Groceries Code Adjudicator. She will be responsible for enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, which regulates interactions between the ten largest supermarkets and farmers and suppliers.

This will ensure a fairer deal for farmers and suppliers, who can complain to the Adjudicator if they are unfairly treated by supermarkets. If a breach of the code is found, the Adjudicator will be able to make recommendations against a supermarket or impose fines.

The Adjudicator will also be able to launch investigations based on reasonable evidence across the entire food supply-chain, both here in the UK and overseas.

Welcoming the appointment, Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central, said:

"I'm delighted by the establishment of the Grocery Code Adjudicator and by today's appointment of Christine Tacon - the Liberal Democrats have been calling for this body for a decade; it was a Manifesto commitment and it is being delivered thanks to Liberal Democrats in Government.

"I'm also very pleased that Jo Swinson has announced that the Groceries Code Adjudicator will have the power to fine supermarkets from day one. The ability to fine stores who are dealing unfairly with suppliers will ensure that there is genuine fairness.

"This is a major victory for consumers, farmers and for the UK as a whole. Lots of my constituents have got in touch about this issue, and now thanks to their support for fairness and smart regulations of food markets, the Government has listened and the Lib Dems have delivered."

Commenting further, Jo Swinson said:

"For too long, the balance of power in the grocery market has been in favour of large supermarkets. This has seen many farmers and suppliers receive unfair prices, year on year, with many struggling to stay in business.

"The Grocery Code Adjudicator will ensure farmers and suppliers get a fair deal. It is an important part of the Liberal Democrat commitment to building a stronger economy in a fairer society.

"Christine Tacon has a wide range of experience in the food, retail and farming industry and so this announcement is a real milestone. Her knowledge of the sector will be of huge benefit and help rural communities who deserve a fair deal for their hard work."

What would you like to do next?