Safeway has pledged to work with the National Farmers' Union to develop a code of practice for future supplier initiatives following the uproar caused by its 1,000 Line Availability Focus campaign. The supermarket chain told the NFU it was "desirable" to develop a code that would set a "new and positive framework" without weakening its competitive position. A draft has been sent to Safeway by the NFU to which the multiple said it would respond "in due course". Safeway's pledge came after a series of peace talks with the farmers' body. The talks were called after the NFU complained to the Competition Commission that Safeway was demanding suppliers cough up £20,000 per product to support the launch of the 1,000 Line Availability Focus campaign (The Grocer, November 13, p5). In essence, both sides have agreed that no advance payments will be demanded by Safeway from primary producers. The chain has also said it would discuss terms of entry with individual suppliers. And it has again stressed the initiative is voluntary and no discriminatory action will be taken against suppliers who do not want to support it. In addition, Safeway has promised that if the initiative does not bring the expected rewards it will discuss the situation with suppliers. In exceptional circumstances, where no sales growth is achieved, suppliers could get their money back. However, the NFU is refusing to withdraw its complaint with the Commission. A spokeswoman said: "We are still concerned this will put massive financial pressure on suppliers. Our objections remain." {{NEWS }}