Fine supermarkets for supplier abuse – FPB

Ahead of the Queen’s Speech next week, the Forum of Private Business has urged the Government to ensure the Groceries Code Adjudicator has the necessary power to fine supermarkets who unfairly abuse their suppliers.

A new Bill on grocery industry conduct will be presented in next Wednesday’s (9 May) Queen’s Speech, paving the way for it to be ratified by Parliament and set in statute.

The not-for-profit business support group’s Senior Policy Advisor, Alex Jackman, said of the Groceries Code Adjudicator: “When the draft bill was announced last year we were critical of the fact there were no plans for the adjudicator to have powers to fine supermarkets found to be treating their suppliers unfairly – a glaring omission.

“Our sentiment has not changed and we still feel that an adjudicator without the firepower to deal effectively with supermarket abuse can’t be effective.

“Supermarkets nowadays are multi-billion pounds corporate giants driven by money. Frankly, anything less than an adjudicator with the power to take that money from them is simply going to be woefully inadequate.

“Our position is that we support the adjudicator, and want it implemented as soon as possible, but we want the position to have powers to fine immediately, and, crucially, with multiplier fines for repeat offenders.  Let’s not set up a system whose hands are tied to begin with.”