NFU Scotland has issued a plea to farmers and food and drink processors to submit evidence to the Competition Commission’s inquiry into the grocery sector.
The inquiry is investigating the behaviour of the major supermarkets and its effect on consumers and the future of the food supply chain.
However, the fear amongst supermarket suppliers of complaining makes hard and direct evidence difficult to come by.
There is a widespread belief among suppliers that they will lose business if they air their concerns.
However, NFUS is stressing that this is probably the best and only chance for years to meaningfully address the concerns of the Scottish food industry over supermarket behaviour.
The Competition Commission has said it will work with suppliers to protect their identity, allowing them to submit evidence anonymously.
NFUS has had a hearing with the inquiry team itself and has presented a dossier to the inquiry which outlines examples of supermarkets exploiting their dominant position.
NFUS president John Kinnaird said: “During our hearing with the Competition Commission, the chairman stressed the importance of receiving evidence directly from those affected by supermarket power.
“I am fully aware of the fear amongst supermarket suppliers of complaining. Asking them to submit evidence to this inquiry is not something I do lightly.
“However, with the evidence to act on, there is a real chance that this inquiry could deliver meaningful solutions to ensure the abuse of supermarket power, where it exists, is tackled.”
*Information for the Competition Commission’s groceries market inquiry should be sent to the Inquiry Secretary, Competition Commission, Victoria House, Southampton Row, London, WC1B 4AD. Alternatively, email email@example.com Any requests for anonymity should be made known at this time.