Liberal Democrat MP Malcolm Bruce set out a motion in Parliament this week, with the backing of NFU Scotland. It claimed the current code was ineffective, did not cover all parts of the supply side and was ineffectual because suppliers were afraid to complain to the Office of Fair Trading because of fears of being de-listed by retailers.
“There is agreement that something needs to be done about the code of practice,” said Bruce. “The current dominance of retailers and suppliers’ weakness makes them feel squeezed out of the market with no means of redress. Safeguards against reprisals have to be introduced.”
Cross-party support was also given to a similar motion in the Scottish Parliament and NFU Scotland president, John Kinnaird, claimed the political agreement would send a clear signal that action was required.
Director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, Fiona Moriarty, said she believed a debate about protecting the anonymity of complainants and extending the code to cover the entire food chain would be worthwhile.