The Government has accepted the proposals of the Competition Commission (CC) to set up a supermarket ombudsman, which will enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).
The new code comes into effect on 4 February 2010, with subsequent consultations due to take place shortly after this date, to discuss ways of how best to enforce it. The news comes following the CC's report highlighting evidence that some large grocery retailers had passed on unexpected costs and excessive risks to their suppliers.
Commenting on the decision, consumer minister Kevin Brennan stated: "Free and fair competition is the key to a healthy market and it is right that there should be an enforcement body to make sure that consumers are getting the best value for money."
The Environment Secretary Hilary Benn added that the new body will allow a fair balance to be reached in getting a fair deal for farmers and food producers, whilst supermarkets will be able to provide their customers with the high quality British food they require, at an affordable price.