Farmers urged to highlight grocers’ unfair practices

NFU Scotland called on farmers to feed into a review of the adjudicator's powers. Picture: Julien Behal/PA Wire
NFU Scotland called on farmers to feed into a review of the adjudicator's powers. Picture: Julien Behal/PA Wire
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A call has been issued for farmers to come forward with their experiences of unfair trading practices used by multiple retailers and others who exploit the imbalance of buying power.

Citing what it termed the “shocking” extent of historical unfair trading practices exposed by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) into the practices used by major supermarkets earlier in the year, NFU Scotland has called on farmers and other primary producers to feed their experiences into a recently launched review of the adjudicator’s powers.

READ MORE: Tesco rapped over ‘serious’ breach of groceries code

Last month, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy launched a call for evidence on the case for the extension of the powers of the GCA.

NFUS president Allan Bowie said that the union had been consistent in arguing that more must be done to eliminate the impact of unfair trading practices on farmers, growers and crofters.

“This call for evidence on the case for expanding the role of the adjudicator is an important opportunity in ending the impact of unfair practice in the UK grocery supply chain,” he said.

Bowie added that for the union to be able to argue for further, necessary, adjudication of the groceries market it needed strong evidence of unfair trading practice impacting farm businesses.

“These unfair practices could be imposed directly on a producer from a processor, or indirectly from a retailer,” he said, adding that in recognition of the sensitivities to commercial contracts, anonymity could be maintained for those giving details.

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