EXCLUSIVE CLIVE BEDDALL Angry suppliers are to pressure secretary of state for trade and industry Patricia Hewitt to toughen the newly introduced code of trading practice for the top four multiples. The Grocer understands that a group of small to medium sized manufacturers, alarmed that two of the chains are "already disregarding the spirit of the code", are compiling a protest dossier citing what they call "bullying trading practices." However, while none of the participants were willing to be identified, one told The Grocer: "We will name the guilty multiples to the minister." On Thursday, an NFU spokesperson confirmed that the union had been given examples of "inconsistencies by retailers in entering into the spirit of the code." The NFU, for its part, had reservations about the effectiveness of the final version of the code, although several of its top officials had admitted privately "it's probably the best we are going to get". Meanwhile, although the code has only been in operation for several weeks, other producer sources have dismissed it as a "watered down document which is not worth the paper it is written on." Surprisingly to many, Sir Don Curry's Policy Commission into the Future of Farming and Food stopped short of calling for wholesale changes to the code. When he launched his report, Sir Don told The Grocer that changes would have been inappropriate given the code was at such an early stage of development. However, he added: "It's a first step. We believe it should go further but at least we have a code in existence." The Curry report proposed a review of the code in two years' time, but it is clear from calls The Grocer has received in recent weeks that this timeframe is opposed by many smaller suppliers. One told The Grocer on Thursday: "The code should be reviewed after its first three months. Buyer bullying is still going on, and at one multiple in particular, so it's clear not everyone is following the spirit of the thing." As the protests land on Hewitt's desk she is also likely to hear calls for the code to be extended to include all multiple retailers. {{NEWS }}