Supermarket overseer plea by farmers

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The Government has once again come under pressure to create a figure to oversee the supermarket industry, with a decision now expected from ministers early in the New Year.

National Farmers’ Union president Peter Kendall pressed Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on the issue during a face-to-face meeting brokered by fellow Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, himself a former shadow Defra minister before the 2010 general election.

Mr Kendall told the deputy prime minister that the appointment of an adjudicator was vital for the British farming industry in terms of securing a fair deal for farmers.

Mr Kendall said: “Ensuring we make positive progress on issues such as CAP reform and the Groceries Code adjudicator will be crucial in the coming years, to achieving both a vibrant farming sector and a healthy economy.

“The meeting shows that I’ll continue to press home these points with our political leaders, even though other priorities may be vying for their attention.”

A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said that a decision on whether to appoint a Groceries Adjudicator would be made in January.

The creation of a figure to police supermarkets was one of the key recommendations of a Competition Commission into the supermarket sector back in 2008.