Carmichael to lead debate on groceries code adjudicator

MP Alistair Carmichael will lead a debate in parliament on the groceries code adjudicator, the government body which oversees the relationship between farmers and other food producers and the major supermarket groups.

The Northern Isles MP has called for farmers and crofters to contact his office to give their views on the working of the regulator ahead of the debate on Tuesday.

Mr Carmichael has previously introduced legislation to “beef up” the remit of the groceries code adjudicator, by boosting its powers to defend farmgate prices for farmers and crofters.

He said: “I have been calling for some time for the Groceries Code Adjudicator to step up more and support farmers and crofters in getting a fair price for their product.

“I know that this is a matter of significant interest for the farming unions as well including the NFUS. The groceries code adjudicator was an important step forward when it was created but it has not achieved what we wanted it to in terms of protecting food producers and consumers.

“The fact is that market is failing, and it fails to the disadvantage of our farmers and rural communities. If the regulator cannot rebalance matters under its current powers then it is time to beef up its remit so that it can act – a point I shall be making to ministers on Tuesday.

“This is about supporting local farmers and crofters but it is also ultimately about supporting UK consumers too.

“The supermarkets have taken advantage of their market dominance for too long, and that absolutely must end. If we want vibrant farming and crofting communities in this country then we need a fair deal and fair prices for farmers and food producers.

“I have already reached out to farming unions for their views ahead of the debate and I would encourage individual farmers and crofters with a view on the role of the groceries code adjudicator to get in touch. I look forward to pressing for better answers from the government bench on Tuesday evening. Farmers and crofters around the country will be watching.”


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