Supermarket ombudsman plans ‘on track’

Proposals for an ombudsman to oversee retailers’ relationships with suppliers are still on track, according to the Competition Commission.

Peter Freemen, the Commission’s chairman, said progress was being made on plans to clamp down on unfair trading practices by major supermarkets.

In a meeting with the Grocery Market Action Group last week (16 July), Mr Freeman said the Commission was determined to proceed with proposals it made following an investigation of the grocery market last year.

The Commission hoped to implement a strengthened supply code of practice and make a decision on the referral of the ombudsman to the government shortly, he added.

MP Andrew George, GMAG chairman, said the group had been concerned about the amount of time since the Commission had made its original recommendations.

“We should soon see some meaningful progress,” he said

“The major supermarkets continue to post record profits but many of their suppliers struggle, privately complaining about the unfair treatment they receive.

“Rapid progress is necessary before it’s too late for some.”

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