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Food manufacturers say: it’s time to get groceries referee in play

29 July 2011

Terry Jones, FDF Director of Communications has commented on the Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) Select Committee’s ‘Time to bring on the referee?’ report on the Government’s proposed Adjudicator for the Groceries Code

“We're delighted that the BIS Select Committee has recognised the strength of our arguments and endorsed the Government’s proposal to introduce a Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA). We now need to see the Government take on board these recommendations and introduce an amended Bill to Parliament as soon as possible.

“We're particularly pleased that the Committee is convinced that trades associations such as FDF can provide information on abuses of market power. Not only are we best placed to identify patterns of behaviour that breach the Code but also provide much-needed additional anonymity for suppliers. This will help ensure that the food chain operates fairly and is in the best interests of consumers.

“Our recommendation that the GCA has the power to fine right from the outset, rather than just ‘naming and shaming’, has also been taken on board. This will be a more effective deterrent to those looking to breach the Code, and we want this to be reflected in the new Bill presented to Parliament.

“An effective GCA will be good news for both consumers and suppliers - particularly small to medium-sized businesses (SME’s), who are the backbone of the UK food and drink industry.
“We are now one step closer to the twin remedies proposed by the Competition Commission. A strengthened Code alongside a GCA with teeth will ensure that grocery suppliers have the confidence to innovate and invest, offering choice and availability to consumers.”

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