Iceland boss Malcolm Walker has been attacked by the Forum for Private Business over comments he made about the new grocery code of conduct designed to protect farmers and supermarket suppliers.

Walker said the code was a “waste of time” and proposals for an ombudsman to enforce the code were “madness”.

He insisted his company would “do the bare minimum” to comply with the revamped code, adding that fractious negotiations were a “fact of life”.

But the FPB hit back, with chief executive Phil Orford saying his “extremely disappointing” comments “reflected the common attitude supermarkets have towards their suppliers”.

Orford added: “This bullying behaviour is simply bad practice and an abuse of their dominant market position. To attempt to normalise it is unacceptable.”

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) came into force yesterday, following a two-year inquiry by the Competition Commission into alleged abuses in the groceries market.

Walker, speaking from Barbados, where he is on holiday, told the Daily Telegraph: “The FPB are pillocks.”

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