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"Supermarkets fine is just a sticking plaster - its time for radical surgery! " - Farron

December 7, 2007 3:00 PM

Liberal Democrat MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming Tim Farron has welcomed the fine handed out to Asda and Sainsbury's in light of their guilty plea to price-fixing charges, but has said the fine was nowhere near sufficient.

The Office of Fair Trading found that while the price for milk and other dairy products in the supermarkets went up, the price paid to farmers did not. Both supermarkets and a number of dairy processors have been handed fines totalling £116m.

Tim Farron said:

"With the cost to the farmers and consumers of this outrageous price fixing put at £270m, this fine seems well short of the mark. Given the soaring profits of supermarkets and large dairy processors I think the OFT could have gone further.

"In light of this episode I want to see the Government introduce an independent market regulator for supermarkets to ensure that farmers and consumers are never exploited in this way again."