Ceredigion’s Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has welcomed the announcement from Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable, that measures to grant the Groceries Code Adjudicator powers to fine UK supermarkets have been laid in Parliament.
This comes following calls just last week by Mark Williams in the House of Commons chamber, asking the Secretary of State for Wales to work with his colleagues across Government in extending the role of the Grocery Code Adjudicator to try and tackle the issues currently facing the dairy industry.
The Adjudicator will be able to impose penalties on large retailers of up to one per cent of a companies’ annual UK turnover, dependant on the seriousness of the breach of the Code. It comes despite Tory opposition in Government to grant the watchdog the powers it needed to do its job.
The Grocery Code Adjudicator has published guidance on the principles that will be used to calculate the level of any fine. The Code imposes on the supermarkets an overarching principle of fair dealing with their direct suppliers, including farmers. It includes specific provisions governing terms of supply, timing of payments, marketing and promotional costs, and payments as a condition of being a supplier. The Code does not govern issues relating to pricing.
These new measures will add to existing powers to issue supermarkets with recommendations as to their future conduct, and to ‘name and shame’ those that have breached the Code.
Commenting Mark Williams said:
“I was pleased to hear Vince Cable is introducing these new measures. Indeed, in last week’s questions to the Secretary of State for Wales I called for more powers to the Grocery Code Adjudicator in order that it may be able to assist the welsh dairy sector – so this is a positive step. I would still like the Grocery Code Adjudicator to have its remit widened to the whole of the supply chain, so the fight continues.”
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“The Groceries Code Adjudicator is a Liberal Democrat initiative and was designed to make sure suppliers, such as farmers and small businesses, are given a fair deal by supermarket giants.
“Despite Tory opposition this important step will give the Grocery Code Adjudicator the power it needs to address the issues in the supply chain, between grocery retailers and their direct suppliers.”