The industry's plan to develop a code of practice for buyers and sellers moved a step closer to fruition this week. The idea was given the thumbs up at the first industry forum hosted by Agriculture Minister Nick Brown as part of the government's Action Plan for Farming. There was a presentation on a draft of the code at the private meeting ­ which was attended by about 50 senior executives drawn from across the food chain. Brown told The Grocer: "The biggest thing that came out of this meeting was progress on the code of practice. The report given by Joanne Denney of IGD went further and deeper than I thought it would." Brown added: "I am very pleased with what will be a significant document in the public domain in a few weeks' time. The entire supply chain will benefit from such a code." Brown also revealed that the six supermarket chains that have helped draft the code under the auspices of IGD have invited him to review the document and its workings after a year. The minister also made it clear he saw the code as providing a benchmark that would ensure other retailers and wholesalers fell into line. One of those involved in drawing up the code said the draft document would now be sent to interested parties for comment before being finalised and launched. But he said that everybody realised two major challenges lay ahead. First, the code needed to build credibility among farmers and manufacturers. And second, it needed to become part of the day to day workings of every supermarket buying department. But the NFU welcomed the draft, saying it addressed many of the issues that had a potential impact on prices. {{NEWS }}