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Farron urges action to help farmers and consumers after OFT finds supermarkets and processors guilty of 'price fixing'

October 30, 2007 3:00 PM

Local MP Tim Farron today wrote to the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, John Hutton, urging him to support farmers and consumers who had been unfairly treated by big business.

The Office of Fair Trade concluded last month that a number of supermarkets and milk processors, including Tesco, Sainsbury's and Dairy Crest, had been guilty of collusion to increase prices of dairy products, costing consumers £270m. At the same time, the OFT found that farmers had been paid poverty rates, below the cost of production for their dairy produce.

Mr Farron has called on government to take action against those who abuse their market position.

"During the Foot and Mouth crises, buyers abused their power by offering massively reduced prices to farmers who had no choice but to accept them. The OFT have now got the chance to come down hard on those who use their market size to gain huge profits at the expense of hard working consumers and hard pressed farmers.

"The OFT should take that chance by imposing big fines on all those involved, and should receive the full backing of the Government."