Review of groceries code adjudicator offers opportunity for Scottish farming

In October, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched a Call for Evidence on the case for the extension of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

NFU Scotland has been consistent in arguing that more must be done to eliminate the impact of unfair trading practices on farmers, growers and crofters.

With the Call for Evidence now live, NFU Scotland is asking its members to contact the union to offer evidence of how unfair dealing from other parts of the supply chain has resulted in difficulties for their own businesses.

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “This Call for Evidence on the case for expanding the role of the UK Groceries Code Adjudicator is an important opportunity in ending the impact of unfair practice in the UK grocery supply chain.

“NFU Scotland was an early advocate for a grocery market ombudsman and the establishment of the Groceries Code Adjudicator in 2013 was a significant step in solving the problems in our food chain.

“The GCA’s investigation into Tesco plc, published this year, revealed the shocking extent of historical unfair trading practices because of the imbalance of buying power. These practices do impact on primary food producers such as farmers, growers and crofters.

“For NFU Scotland to be able to argue for further, necessary, adjudication of the groceries market we need strong evidence of unfair trading practice which is impacting farm businesses.

“These unfair practices could be imposed directly on a producer from a processor, or indirectly from a retailer.

“I urge members to contact NFU Scotland about evidence of unfair practice. Recognising the sensitivities that may be involved, there is the offer of anonymity if they feel uncomfortable about contacting us.

“However, we need those views to allow NFU Scotland to put forward the case for the extension of the adjudicator’s remit all the way from the shop shelf to the farm gate.”

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