The Office of Fair Trading's consultation into its proposed decision to refer the grocery sector to the Competition Commission ended yesterday.

Among those beating the deadline was the National Farmers' Union who called for a review of the market to include an analysis of the impact today's food retailers have on suppliers.

Richard Macdonald, director general of the NFU, said: “The farming unions are not against big business and we do not want to see efficient businesses penalised. However, we are against abuse of power and the lack of regard for the business pressures on others in the supply chain.”