The Three Counties Show

It was Worcestershire’s turn to take the lead at the Three Counties Show in Malvern this month. The Bishop of Worcester was a first-rate President; his commitment to the agricultural community is really impressive. It was rather wet on the Friday when I was there, but everyone enjoyed themselves – it was, as always, a great show. Some of my happiest memories as an MP will always be my turn as President six years ago.
The Three Counties Show is a useful opportunity to talk to growers and farmers from the Vale of Evesham and all around my constituency. This year one subject they all raised was the need to ensure that growers get a good deal for their products.

This is exactly what the Government is doing. As promised in this year’s Queen’s Speech, a ‘Groceries Code Adjudicator’ Bill has been published in the House of Lords.

The Bill will increase protection for farmers and suppliers by preventing large retailers from altering their supply agreements and ensure suppliers are paid within a reasonable time.

The Adjudicator will also help to ensure that suppliers can raise legitimate disputes confidentially without fear that they will be penalised for speaking up through lost business.

Although it will not have a direct responsibility over the price paid to the supplier, the Adjudicator will help to remedy the current imbalance between the growers and the buyer.

The Government is determined to ensure that the UK has a food industry where farmers and food producers are getting a fair deal, and consumers can buy the high-quality, British food they want at an affordable price.

I know that the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill will be welcome news not only for growers across the Vale of Evesham but also for all of us who want to support them by buying their excellent produce.


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