The Country Land & Business Association has called for a Competition Commission investigation into supermarket practices.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 programme Farming Today, CLA’s rural economy advisor, Dr Charles Trotman, also called for the creation of an independent ombudsman to police the current supermarket code of practice.

Trotman said: “The first two Competition Commission enquiries raised serious questions as to the practices of the supermarkets. The Code of Practice was meant to address these but because the Code was actually drawn up between the OFT and the supermarkets, it is hardly surprising that it is totally ineffective.”

“In order to encourage people to complain, there should be an independent ombudsman to actually police the Code,” Trotman added.

The British Retail Consortium dismissed the calls, saying that there was “no reason for yet another enquiry into the supermarket sector”.