Concern over adjudicator delay

Food manufacturers have expressed concern over the news that the Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) may not start work for another two years.

Although a Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) was published last year, a draft Bill is still awaited to allow the appointment of a senior official to take on the policing role. It is now expected that a final Bill will not be agreed until 2012 with appointment to the role by mid 2013.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) fears the delay could damage consumer welfare.  Director of communications Terry Jones said: “Currently we have a rule book in the GSCOP but no referee. The Competition Commission findings were clear that unless the abuse of market power is addressed then businesses especially small and medium sized manufacturers will be less inclined to innovate and invest.

“In turn, this will lead to a reduction in choice and availability. Consumers will be ultimate losers unless government takes action.”

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