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Farron calls for end to Supermarket "Tescopoly"

January 20, 2009 5:55 PM

Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP has joined forces with Friends of the Earth and the Tescopoly Alliance to give his full backing for the introduction of a supermarket Ombudsman to monitor the relationship between supermarkets, suppliers, and pricing.

In April 2008 the UK Competition Commission finished an extensive two year investigation into UK supermarkets that found clear evidence the supermarkets were mistreating and suppliers and farmers by transferring unnecessary costs onto them.

In conjunction with the Tescopoly Alliance, Mr Farron is calling on the Government to listen to the recommendations of the Commission and introduce a genuinely independent regulator to help break the current monopoly of interests held by powerful supermarkets.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"There can be little doubt that a powerful supermarket monopoly has damaged farmers and has weakened rural communities.

"Between April 1997 and April 2008, the number of greengrocers fell by almost 3,000, a fall that equates to five closing per week for the last 11 years, meaning fewer jobs, less choice and more food miles.

"With such a large amount of jobs being lost, it's important that any Ombudsman acts as a genuinely independent regulator that doesn't only respond to supermarket foul play but has the power to proactively intervene to prevent supermarkets from squeezing local farmers out of business."