The Competition Commission's investigation into the UK's grocery market will get into full swing next week, with the first personal hearings set to take place.

The inquiry team will meet with the NFU in London next week and will then head north to Scotland for a series of hearings there on 5 and 6 September.

Hearings involving the major retailers will not take place until later next month at the earliest because the Competition Commission is still wading through their responses to its mammoth questionnaire.

The Commission said that it was heading to Scotland because several organisations there had expressed a desire to meet with the inquiry team.

Hearings are to take place involving representatives of the Scottish Grocers' Federation, the National Farmers' Union of Scotland, the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament. Commission chairman Peter Freeman, who is heading the inquiry, will also meet the Scottish environment and rural development minister Ross Finnie.

A Commission spokesman said that there were still hearing slots available in Scotland on 5 September, and urged interested parties to contact the organisation.

There were no plans as yet to visit other parts of the UK, but such a move would not be ruled out if demand was there, he said.

The spokesman also said that all 22 of the retailers sent the Commission's 131-question survey last month had now sent back at least some information.

He added: "We're wading through it. In some cases we might have to chase up certain bits of information, but we have had some stuff back from all of them." The Commission is in the process of setting up hearings with the retailers to discuss their responses.

A questionnaire has now gone out to wholesalers, with the deadline to respond set for the week after next. Although shorter than the retailers' survey, it still contains 56 questions.