Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has used the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) question time in the House of Commons this morning to raise the issue of an extension of the Groceries Code Adjudicator’s remit.
Mark Williams said: “The creation of the Adjudicator was essential, but its remit is extremely limited. While it has done useful work, illustrated by the recent Tesco case, and I welcome its capacity to levy fines in the future, it is concerning that the overwhelming majority of farmers have no recourse to the Adjudicator for redressing grievance, or the seeking of fair play.
“I am urging the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), in their forthcoming review of the Adjudicator, to include the need to extend the remit from “gate to plate” right across the supply chain, something the farming unions and many of the dairy farmers I meet have long been calling for.
“This is not a panacea of solutions to the problems facing the dairy sector, but it would at least give farmers the confidence that when there have been legitimate breaches of conduct, these can be examined. I urge Defra Ministers to make that case to BIS.”