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UK Groceries Code of Practice
Commenting on the new UK Groceries Code of Practice, which comes into force today, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
"Supermarkets account for the vast majority of grocery retail sales in Scotland and are often the main link between consumers and the rest of the food supply chain. In Scotland we are already reaping the rewards of a more productive partnership through our Retailers' Charter and Retailers' Forum.
"This Code of Practice is a welcome step in ensuring our suppliers are treated fairly by our top ten supermarkets, having been extended to cover all supermarkets with a turnover of more than £1 billion, but it needs some teeth in the form of an ombudsman.
"The UK Government agrees that a body is needed to enforce this Code, but the food supply chain needs clarity on whether the role will be added to the Office of Fair Trading's ever-expanding remit or taken more seriously.
"As the UK Government prepares to consult on the role of the enforcement body I have written to them reiterating Scotland's support for an Ombudsman to oversee a Code which can then deliver results for our farmers, producers and suppliers."
The code extends the previous of Code of Practice to all supermarkets with a turnover of more than £1 billion. Now ten supermarkets are covered: Aldi, ASDA, The Co-operative, Iceland, Lidl, Morrisons, M&S, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose.
The GSCOP must be incorporated into supply agreements and agreements between retailers and suppliers must be in writing.
Retailers are now prevented from making retrospective adjustments to terms and conditions of supply.
Retailers may only de-list a supplier for genuinely commercial reasons.