The British Retail Consortium has dismissed the idea of an independent regulator for the grocery industry as a "complete non-starter".

Last week the TUC called for a new body with the power to ensure fair play for suppliers. It said that multiples were abusing their purchasing power in the UK and overseas to depress wages and conditions of workers in the supply chain.

However, BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said a new regulator was unlikely as the government was reducing the number of such bodies, not increasing them.

"Regulators were designed for those former utilities where there is a monopoly supplier, and that's not the situation in food."