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Farron welcomes fair trade watchdog for Farmers

November 20, 2012 11:38 AM

TF ruralCumbrian MP Tim Farron spoke yesterday in the debate in the House of Commons during the second reading of the Grocery Codes Adjudicator Bill, welcoming the measures which will play an important role in ensuring a fair deal for British farmers.

Tim ensured that the Grocery Codes Adjudicator was in the Lib Dem manifesto at the last election, which will now bring in measures protect farmers and their businesses from unfair practice by supermarkets. This legislation will help to rebalance the relationship between producers and consumers by forcing supermarkets to treat farmers fairly.

This is a very important step forward, especially for farmers and growers who have suffered at the hands of supermarket buying practices. The Grocery Codes Adjudicator will ensure that larger supermarkets which have built business through their effective use of market muscle will no longer be able to abuse their power to the detriment of producers.

The lack of fairness in the market means, for example, that 50% of dairy farmers have gone out of business in the last 15 years. Tim believes it is time that this unfairness was ended.

In the debate Tim welcomed the Bill but called on the minister, Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, to ensure that the watchdog is not the only device used to protect farmers. This Bill has now passed through the first stage of its route through both Houses of Parliament. The Grocery Codes Adjudicator is expected to be up and running by the middle of next year.

Commenting Tim said: "The adjudicator will be welcomed by all of us who support a fair deal for farmers. It is a vital way of ending the imbalance in the market, but it can't be seen as the only way - we must also strengthen farmers hands by strengthening their export market and by investing in research and development so that they can punch at an equal weight with supermarkets."