Watchdog gets more teeth

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Large supermarkets that treat suppliers unfairly could be fined by a new watchdog under changes announced by the Department for Business yesterday.

Ministers initially proposed that the groceries adjudicator should have only the power to “name and shame” stores which breach the Groceries Code, with Business Secretary Vince Cable reserving the right to introduce fines at a later date if the system did not work.

But farmers and other suppliers pressed for the adjudicator to have access to financial penalties as soon as the post is established next year, and Competition Minister Jo Swinson agreed yesterday to change legislation to give the watchdog more teeth.