The Ecologist

 
Supermarket trolley
More articles about
Related Articles

Government agrees to supermarket watchdog

Ecologist

13th January, 2010

Supermarket ombudsman will enforce a new code of practice between retailers and their suppliers

The UK Government has accepted calls for an independent watchdog to protect suppliers against exploitation from supermarkets.

This follows recommendations from the Competition Commission (CC) in August 2009, which found that large grocery retailers were passing on excessive risks and unexpected costs to their suppliers.

Supermarkets were initially given the opportunity to agree to a voluntary independent regulator but strongly opposed the idea.



What do you think? Comment here



Announcing the decision, consumer minister Kevin Brennan said the power that large grocery retailers were able to wield over their suppliers could still 'create pressures' on small producers.

Hilary Benn, secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, said the new ombudsman would help protect farmers.

'The new ombudsman will help strike the right balance between farmers and food producers getting a fair deal, and supermarkets enabling consumers to get the high quality British food that they want, at an affordable price,' he said.

 

The Food Ethics Council said it had 'long been apparent' that the power wielded by supermarkets needed to be regulated.

'The Government must now ensure that it listens to small producers as well as big business while it consults on what shape an enforcement body should take.

'A strong supermarket ombudsman, invested with real power, would have the authority to ensure fair prices from the farm gate to the checkout,' said Food Ethics Council executive director Dr Tom MacMillan.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents the major supermarkets, said the ombudsman would allow 'big food companies' to squeeze supermarkets and that consumers would ultimately foot the bill.

Useful links

Competition Commission

Add to StumbleUpon
tom
  READ MORE...
COMMENT
Toothless Tory 'ombudsman' won't solve supermarket problem
It's high time we had a supermarket ombudsman, but it needs to be proactive and powerful, says Caroline Lucas
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
How to stop a supermarket opening in your area
Battling superstore monopolies needn’t be a lone crusade. Kate Eshelby looks at some of the resources available
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
CASE STUDY: making local food sexy in Suffolk
How do you turn people on to local food and away from supermarkets? One way is to celebrate it through 'adventures', from wild food barbecues to scrumptious feasts of locally baked foods
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
How to set up your own local food co-op
Food co-ops are a way of buying fresh, locally grown food for less money. Sustain have produced an online resource, 'the Food Co-ops Toolkit', that explains how to start one up
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
CASE STUDY: supporting local food
A tireless crusader for rural revitalisation, Kate Eshelby meets the septuagenarian who beat Tesco out of town and is now at the heart of Suffolk’s local food revival

 

Previous Articles...

ECOLOGIST COOKIES

Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.

More information here...

 

FOLLOW
THE ECOLOGIST