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Farron: Groceries Adjudicator Must Protect Small Farmers

March 29, 2016 4:29 PM

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has called for the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to be extended to better protect farmers against large supermarkets.

Many farmers are not currently protected by the GCA as it only has the power to deal with direct suppliers to supermarkets. However, much farm produce is currently sold to supermarkets through middlemen.

Tim has written to the Business Secretary to ask him to extend the remit of the GCA to cover small farmers who sell to supermarkets via intermediaries. This move would help small dairy farmers who sell milk to supermarkets via milk processing companies.

Tim said: "Local dairy farmers are under a lot of pressure, and ought to be protected by the GCA. At the moment, small farmers are being overlooked because they sell their milk via middlemen.

"The government should change the GCA's remit to include small farmers. This is the spirit behind the original creation of the GCA, and is desperately needed by dairy farmers who are all too often given a raw deal by large supermarkets.

"Individual consumers also have an important role to play when choosing where to buy milk, and avoiding those supermarkets that choose to use milk as a loss leader at the expense of small farmers."