Secretary of state for trade and industry Patricia Hewitt has defended the delay in unveiling the government's proposed code of trading practice for the top five multiples and their suppliers. The Grocer understands that, in a letter to the NFU, the minister emphasised the need to "take time to fully consider all the complex and difficult issues involved". Farmers and retailers have complained the DTI was dragging its feet. However, Hewitt said: "I will need to decide whether I believe the draft code is sufficient to remedy the Competition Commission's adverse findings. The supermarkets will then be asked to give undertakings under the Fair Trading Act 1973. When these are given, the undertakings and the code will be made public." {{NEWS }}