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    NFUS Urges Food Producers To Speak Out
31/05/06

With a week left to submit evidence to the Competition Commission’s (CC) supermarket inquiry, NFUS is urging anyone with concerns over the power of supermarkets, or evidence of its misuse, to write to the Commission.

NFUS will be submitting its own response on behalf of its members up and down the country, however the Union is also encouraging individual farmers or anyone else who has views on the issue to submit their own evidence. The Competition Commission will consider any request for anonymity from those providing evidence.

The deadline for submitting views to the Competition Commission’s inquiry is 7 June. Anyone with views should either email them to groceries@cc.gsi.gov.uk or write to:

The Inquiry Secretary (Groceries market inquiry)
Competition Commission
Victoria House
Southampton Row
London
WC1B 4AD

NFUS Chief Executive Andy Robertson said:

“We’ve fought hard to get this inquiry so it is vital that the industry uses the opportunity to raise its concerns. We will be sending in our own detailed evidence, but this is an opportunity for individual producers on the ground to raise concerns they may personally have. Irrespective of whether farmers have direct experience of dealing with supermarkets, this whole issue is critical to the future of their farm businesses.

“We know that the climate of fear within which too many supermarket suppliers operate limits the amount hard evidence that will be submitted now, despite the CC’s willingness to consider anonymity.

“NFUS has been the mouthpiece for these companies up to now; they are understandably scared of the consequences of speaking out themselves. However, for this inquiry to get a full grasp of the issues, that must change. We will be impressing on the CC the need to have closed hearings with full protection for witnesses.

“In the meantime though, farmers, most of whom are one step removed from supermarket dealings, have a real opportunity to air their concerns.”

link NFUS Welcomes Announcement of Supermarket Probe
link The best of Orkney and Shetland food and drink
link Orkney 'Farming For The Future' Project Goes From Strength To Strength

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