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Farron welcomes Supermarket regulator as a first step in his fair-trade for British farmers campaign

May 25, 2011 9:32 AM

TFSouth Lakes MP, Tim Farron has welcomed the publication of the draft bill that will lead to a supermarket ombudsman.

Lib Dem Minister Ed Davey has taken the first step to setting up a supermarket ombudsman after he confirmed publication of a draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill. Business Ministers published the draft Bill in the House of Commons yesterday.

The bill lays out the regulator structure, remit and operating practices of the adjudicator, the purpose of which will be to oversee the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), which came into force last February. It proposes that the adjudicator will be proactive in its investigations and, crucially, that supermarket suppliers who complain to it will be able to do so anonymously.

Tim has been a long term campaigner for a supermarket Ombudsman and has been pushing for many years to make this happen. Tim has campaigned at events like the Westmorland County show asking local residents to sign petitions calling for fair trade for UK farmers.

Ministers believe this will open the door to complaints from suppliers who have previously been too afraid to put their heads above the parapet.

Tim said: "This is great news. But this bill is still in the draft stage so I will continue to work to strengthen the bill and make sure we make the regulator as strong as possible. I will work with local farmers and the NFU to make sure the bill gives a fair deal to consumers and farmers in the South Lakes."