Local MP Jo Swinson welcomed cross-party support for new legislation that will protect suppliers, including farmers, from unfair trading practices by supermarkets. Jo was commenting after the Grocery Adjudicator Bill was debated in the House of Commons yesterday.
The Bill allows for the creation of a new watchdog that will help ensure producers get a fair deal from major retailers. The new legislation is supported by a range of campaign groups, including the NFUS, Friends of the Earth and ActionAid.
The Bill will create an independent ombudsman to ensure that the Groceries Code is adhered to and sanction supermarkets if they break it. Those sanctions include naming and shaming offenders, and if that doesn't prove effective, ministers can give the Adjudicator the power to levy fines.
The Adjudicator will also be able to hear complaints in complete confidence not only from suppliers but also from third party organisations. It is expected that the Adjudicator will be up and running by the middle of next year.
Commenting Jo said:
"I am extremely proud that we are delivering on this in Coalition Government.
"There are few issues that unite all sides on the House of Commons but there was a remarkable degree of consensus across the chamber during the debate yesterday.
"I will be working with colleagues to ensure that this goodwill is not wasted and the new adjudicator is in place and working for suppliers as soon as possible."