Having no Groceries Codes Adjudicator is like having 'a rulebook with no referee'

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The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has countered retail claims that a Groceries Codes Adjudicator would add unnecessary cost and bureaucracy to policing the supply chain.

Speaking after last month's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills select committee meeting, FDF director of communications Terry Jones said the Groceries Supply Code of Practice alone was insufficient. "You need both. Otherwise it's like having a rulebook with no referee."

Evidence from retailers seized on the government's pledge to reduce red tape to argue that appointing an adjudicator would add cost and bureaucracy. However, Jones and National Farmers' Union president Peter Kendall, disagreed. "Most firms don't want to see just a cut in regulation,"​ said Jones. "They want better regulation."

Jones had a "robust exchange" with Conservative MP and committee member Brian Binley. Binley suggested processors had as much power as supermarkets and didn't need protecting against unfair practice, while Jones said processor size and vulnerability varied widely.

Jones was frustrated that the Competition Commission's 2008 proposals would not take effect before Easter 2012 at the earliest.

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