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Groceries Code Adjudicator – why are we still waiting?

28 July 2011

The BIS Committee tasked with scrutinising the draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill today published its report “Time to bring in the referee?”. The report confirms the need for an Adjudicator but suggests various changes to the Bill, namely:

  • the power to impose fines from the outset, as opposed to having the power only to “name and shame”
  • allowing investigations to be launched following information from indirect suppliers and trade associations and not just that from direct suppliers and publicly available information

The proposals to “beef up” the legislation have been welcomed by some, including the farming community however the British Retail Consortium has expressed concerns over the costs that may be caused to retailers having to respond to anonymised complaints, and argues for strict guidance. The saga continues and it is likely to be 2013 before an Adjudicator is finally in place.

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