Grocery petition up for debate in parliament in New Year

A parliamentary debate on the Groceries Supply Code of Practice has been scheduled for 22 January 2024, following a petition by the food and farming industry calling for reform.

The petition was started to encourage supermarkets to offer a fairer deal for struggling British fruit and vegetable growers.

It seeks to ensure that supermarkets are required to buy what they agreed to buy from producers, and to pay the agreed amount on time.

See also: Grocery petition hits 100,000 and is considered for debate

Having surpassed 100,000 signatures, the grocery petition was automatically considered for debate by the Petitions Committee.

Christina Rees MP, a member of the petitions committee, will open the debate, with the government due to send a minister to respond.

Guy Singh-Watson, the founder of Riverford Organic Farmers, who launched the petition, said: “We, and all who have signed our petition, are fed up with the silence and inaction of the supermarkets on this issue. Instead, we must push for real, legislative change through a parliamentary debate.

“This many voices cannot be ignored. It is high time for supermarkets to be held to account for their ruthless practices, and for hard-working farmers to be guaranteed a fair deal.

“By amending the Grocery Supply Code of Practice, the government could secure a fair and sustainable future for British family farms.”

Will White, sustainable farming co-ordinator at Sustain, added: “We need a supply chain that facilitates, not hinders, the shift to nature-friendly farming.

“Decisive government action and strong regulation is essential to stop major retailers’ exploitative practices and secure the future of fruit and vegetable production in the UK.”

See more