Fair play in the supply chain is still an issue

Ivor Ferguson
Ivor Ferguson

Ulster Farmers’ Union Deputy President Ivor Ferguson has said that fairness in the supply chain is still a major issue for primary producers and it is having a serious impact on the viability of businesses in domestic and European markets.

The comments were made following an event in Dublin covering the regulation of the retail landscape for suppliers and tackling unfair trading practices.

Christine Tacon, the UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator, was a speaker at the event and shared how her role has illustrated the impact that independent and effective investigative powers can have.

“The UK’s Grocery Code Adjudicator has helped to address the power imbalance in the supply chain in some ways, such as delisting, removing excessive charges for packaging, and securing additional payment over and above agreed amounts,” said Mr Ferguson

“However, the work of the GCA needs to go further. Currently there is no protection for primary producers and as farmers are taking a high level of risk at the bottom of the supply chain, they are the most vulnerable to unscrupulous practices.”

The UK Groceries Codes Adjudicator has called for suppliers and farmers to feed into her consultation in order to give her the tools to help her to do her job.

Once she has this information she can act swiftly, fix problems and industry will benefit. Consultation can be found at www.gov.uk/gca