Friday 26 October 2012
PM and the supermarkets
David Cameron has vowed to stand up for farmers hit by "unfair practices" of supermarkets – and said a long-awaited watchdog is "making progress".
The Prime Minister was responding to a question from Westcountry MP Andrew George, who raised concerns over delays to a Bill to create a groceries industry code of conduct adjudicator.
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Mr Cameron said: "We are making progress with introducing the measure, which is important.
"It is very important that we stand up for farmers and that they get a fair deal from supermarkets.
"On occasion, there have been unfair practices, such as the in-year retrospective discounts that have sometimes been proposed. I think that the Bill will be a major step forward."
The Government's plan is to give the new watchdog the power to "name and shame" big supermarkets who fail to stick to an agreed code of conduct, designed to end farmers being bullied by large buyers.
Mr George, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Ives and chairman of the Grocery Market Action Group, said: "Farmers and third-world, developing-country producers desperately need protection from what the Competition Commission has described as the 'bully-boy tactics' of some of the supermarket buyers."
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