News
16th Dec

2014

TFA Media Release No. 23 – TFA and FFA Frustrated by Adjudicator’s Lack of Teeth

TFA and FFA Frustrated by Adjudicator’s Lack of Teeth

The Tenant Farmers Association and Farmers For Action are calling for an urgent review of the powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.

Today’s call follows a refusal from the Adjudicator’s office to a joint request from FFA and TFA to investigate the activities of the supermarket, Iceland, in promoting its recent campaign in which it has discounted the retail price of milk.  Farmers for Action has been leading protests against Iceland following its decision to sell four pints of milk at 89p to its customers.

FFA Chairman, David Handley said “the concern was that Iceland was forcing its direct supplier, Muller, to part fund this marketing campaign which would be a clear breach of the Groceries Code.  In the discussions which FFA has had with Iceland it has rejected those claims and is prepared to open its books to independent scrutiny by the Adjudicator in order to allow their to be transparency.  Frankly, I am disgusted that the adjudicator is either unwilling or unable to take on this investigation as this is exactly the type of issue that most people would expect the Adjudicator to take on.  The Government needs to think urgently about what the Adjudicator is supposed to do”.

TFA National Chairman, Stephen Wyrill said “all through the current crisis in the dairy sector the Government has taken a hands-off approach.  It is naively trusting of the marketplace to deliver sustainable solutions and has therefore failed to take any positive action to ensure the resilience of the dairy sector.  The one thing it has in its armoury is the Adjudicator which seems to lack the teeth necessary to do a viable job.  Although the ink on the statute book is barely dry, we need the Government to reopen the legislative framework which established the adjudicator and we call upon DEFRA and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills to review the role, duties and responsibilities of the Adjudicator without delay.

Both the TFA and FFA provided evidence to the House of Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee at which both organisations stressed the importance of the role of the Adjudicator and the need to ensure that sufficient powers were available to the Adjudicator to carry out a worthwhile job.  Both FFA and TFA agree that there needs to be a stepped change in terms of transparency so that all parties involved in the dairy sector – from farmer to consumer – can have confidence in the supply chain.

end

Ref:  MR23

Date: 16 December 2014

Notes for Editors:

For further information contact David Handley on 07711 194947, Stephen Wyrill on 07754 582 600 or TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

 

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