2015-01-26  

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TFA Backs MPs Call for Groceries Code Review

The Tenant Farmers Association has welcomed a report from the House of Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee which calls for an urgent review of the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.

TFA National Chairman Stephen Wyrill said;
“The TFA has long argued for a Retail Adjudicator with teeth. It is quite evident that the powers given to the current Groceries Code Adjudicator are insufficient and that they should be reviewed without delay”.

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The MP’s report focuses on the dairy industry and the extent to which dairy farmers have suffered deep and unnecessary price reductions in the wake of difficult global trading positions.“What is happening in the dairy industry should be a wake-up call for other sectors. Retailers and processors are using their market strength to drive down returns to dairy farmers who can do little to protect themselves from the onslaught. Whilst there might be a short-term benefit for consumers, these activities are never in their long-term interests as it leads to significant restructuring with production increasingly being driven into larger, indoor, intensive dairy farm systems which consumers seem not to want to support and of course more imports of dairy products,” said Mr Wyrill.

“A recent article in the Grocer Magazine cited over 20 ways in which retailers extract money from suppliers. These activities are well known and have been allowed for too long. The Government must take urgent action to ensure fairness in supply chains,” said Mr Wyrill.

“The report from the MPs calls for the Groceries Code Adjudicator to be able to initiate no-warning investigations of retailer activity. OFSTED can do this with schools so why shouldn’t the Adjudicator be able to do this with retailers?

The MPs are also calling for the Adjudicator to have responsibility for looking at impacts of retailer actions on producers when farm production goes through a processor to the retailer which is currently not covered within the remit of the Adjudicator. The TFA also believes that the Adjudicator should have a role in reporting on price transparency. Too often it is impossible to track who benefits from the difference in price between the farm gate and the supermarket shelf. We are not asking the Adjudicator to set prices but it must have a role in reporting price transparency,” said Mr Wyrill.

TFA

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