The Supermarket Watchdog will be toothless unless it is given the power to levy fines on supermarkets that treat suppliers unfairly, warns ActionAid.
Despite the House of Commons Business Committee recommending the Groceries Code Adjudicator should have the ability to impose financial penalties from day one, heavy lobbying from the supermarkets has persuaded the Government to leave fines out of the Bill.
Today, as the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill enters its 2nd reading, the government must amend it to ensure the Supermarket Watchdog will be able to do its job effectively.
Melanie Ward, ActionAid’s Head of Advocacy says: “Having got the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill this far, it is time for the Government to stand up to the power of supermarkets. Vince Cable must give the Supermarket Watchdog the teeth to do its job effectively — the power to levy fines from Day One.
“Only with the ability to hit big supermarkets where it hurts – their profit margins – will the watchdog be able to protect vulnerable farmers and producers around the world from being treated unfairly”, Ms Ward added.