Farmers cheer Tory supermarkets ombudsman
Tuesday 05 January 2010
Supermarkets would be forced to fund a body which would have the power to name and shame and even fine retailers who engage in unfair dealings with suppliers, the Conservatives said today.
An ombudsman, which would help settle disagreements between supermarkets and farmers, was put forward by Tory frontbencher Nick Herbert. Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference, he said the body would “curb abuses of power which undermine our farmers”.
Aides confirmed the body would be part of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and would be an “ombudsman with teeth”, able to force supermarkets to abide by the new Grocery Suppliers’ Code of Practice – to be introduced next month. Retailers who refused to comply could be subject to fines. It would publish annual reports and could have the power to name individual cases to the public.
An aide said: “This would not be another quango, it would be paid for, not by the taxpayer but by the supermarkets.The OFT is an independent body, which should stop undue influence on the retailers’ part.”
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) welcomed the move as “very good news”. The union’s head of government affairs, Terry Jones, said: “The idea is to get a fair deal for everyone and, if that means a better price for farmers, then that is money that that can be reinvested in better farming techniques, benefiting consumers.”
He added that, at the moment, supermarkets can force suppliers to bear the brunt of poor sales by imposing retrospective discounts or charges on farmers.
One Chichester farmer, who did not want to be named, said: “At times farmers are put under extreme pressure by the buyers, supermarkets and suppliers. Farmers are afraid of being cut out of the loop if they make a fuss – which is why we need an ombudsman.”
Mr Jones added that the farmers would be guaranteed anonymity if they complained to the ombudsman.
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
- 1 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 2 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
- 5 The bubble bursts for Sodastream
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
The bubble bursts for Sodastream
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: M...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: The JobAt ...
£22800 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Calling al...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: EYFS Teachers - East Essex...