Tories to introduce supermarket ombudsman

A Conservative government would introduce a supermarket ombuds-man to "curb the abuses of power" by major retailers harming farmers and consumers.Shadow Defra secretary Nick Herbert, pictured, told Oxford Farming Conference delegates that he wanted a new age of agriculture to support British farmers.

A Conservative government would introduce a supermarket ombuds-man to "curb the abuses of power" by major retailers harming farmers and consumers.

Shadow Defra secretary Nick Herbert, pictured, told Oxford Farming Conference delegates that he wanted a new age of agriculture to support British farmers.

He said that the goverment had failed to establish the ombudsman, after

a decade in which mini-sters had "devalued British agri-culture".


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"It is not enough to talk loosely about a fair market or the need for better labelling. We need action, with a supermarket ombudsman and legislation to enforce honest labelling if the retailers won't act," said Mr Herbert.

The Competition Commission has recommended the creation of an ombudsman to arbitrate on disputes between retailers and producers and oversee the new Groceries Supply Code of Practice, which aims to protect suppliers from unfair behaviour by the supermarkets.

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Business secretary Lord Mandelson has been considering the report for the past two

months.

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