Peter Freeman's Competition Commission has reported on aspects of the UK grocery market no fewer than four times since 1999 and it seems its boredom with the issue is starting to show - this really is a report for the 1990s ('The beginning of the end?, The Grocer, 3 November, p4). Perhaps back then it was sensible to build more edge-of-town supermarkets, but in 2007 it is not the right response to any question that's actually on today's agenda. In particular, more supermarket outlets will encourage more car use. By contrast, the independent rural shops that we represent are crucial to minimising car use by the communities they serve. A policy to encourage more big four supermarkets will only lead to the closure of yet more local shops. Rural communities will be weakened, people will spend more on fuel and there will be a rise in vehicle emissions. This is real: the Competition Commission's model only addresses a hypothesis - which cannot be proved - that more supermarkets operated by the existing big four in urban areas will reduce price levels. The other important aspect is the supermarkets' impact on suppliers. The commission confidently asserts the dominance of the big multiples is not to the detriment of suppliers. This week it was announced that pig farmers are leaving the industry in record numbers because the large supermarkets refuse to pay realistic prices that cover their rising production costs. Again, unfortunately the reality on the farm in 2007 does not match the commission's model of how the world actually works.