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Peter Luff today welcomed the governmentís decision to create a Grocery Ombudsman to protect the interests of suppliers and producers.
The decision follows calls from the Competition Commission, strongly supported by Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire.

Prior to the announcement, there had been much confusion over whether the government would accept the Competition Commissionís recommendation for a new body to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. Peter had written to the Consumer Minister, Kevin Brennan MP, before Christmas, urging him to implement the Competition Commissionís findings.

Peter said,

ďThis is great news for consumers and producers alike; at last there will be an independent body overseeing supermarkets. The Grocery Ombudsman is a common sense initiative; it will enforce a new code of conduct (Groceries Supply Code of Practice) that will make the grocery industry much more transparent and ensure small producers arenít at risk of unfair practices.

ďMy hope is that it will increase free and fair competition whilst making sure consumers get value for money. Although the small print is still unclear, pending a consultation in February, Worcestershire growers can expect to see a fairer deal from supermarket buyers.

ďAs it is, the playing field is skewed very much in favour of the biggest supermarkets. There needs to be far greater equality of commercial power between small producers and big buyers, and I am confident that this ombudsman is part of the solution.

ďI am encouraged by the governmentís response to the Competition Commissionís recommendation and Iím keen to see the ombudsman in action, standing up for the small producers and growers of Worcestershire.Ē


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