Belfast Telegraph

Retailers welcome move to introduce grocery market watchdog

By Amanda Poole

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) has welcomed the announcement of a Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) to prevent abuse of buyer power in the market place.

Funded by retailers, the UK Government will bring in a GCA within the existing Office of Fair Trading to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and suppliers in Northern Ireland from as early as next year.

The GCA will not have power to raise fines, but can 'name and shame'.

The remit will be to oversee compliance with the Code of Practice in place since February 2009, receive complaints from suppliers, and to act on complaints from businesses directly affected by harmful practice and other information in the public domain.

NIIRTA chief executive Glyn Roberts said: "These represent significant progress for those who want to see a fairer grocery market.

"Ministers have taken the decision to depart from the exact model provided by the Competition Commission and we will be scrutinising the GCA to ensure that it is effective in stopping the harms practices identified in the Grocery Market Inquiry."

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