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Foss negotiations with Countdown are idiotic

Clayton Cosgrove
Commerce Spokesperson

21 March 2014

Foss negotiations with Countdown are idiotic

Craig Foss has finally woken up to the supermarket practices being investigated by the Commerce Commission but negotiating a voluntary code of conduct with the company under investigation is idiotic, says Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“Craig Foss has just realised there is a major news story rumbling about supermarket practices.

“Maybe it was the poll this morning that showed half of Kiwis believe Shane Jones compared to 20 per cent backing Countdown, despite Mr Foss rubbishing Mr Jones at the time.

“Or perhaps it’s the Commerce Commission saying it has a number of complaints and has put seven investigators on the case, which shows how serious they are.

“But Mr Foss’ approach is idiotic. To be negotiating a voluntary code of conduct with the organisation whose practices are being investigated is frankly bizarre.

“Has he even spoken to suppliers about this? Doesn’t he realise that cosying up to the party being investigated may scare off witnesses to the investigation and have the effect of neutering the inquiry?

“Any code must be mandated through legislation and be enforceable. It can’t be voluntary as you will not get suppliers and others raising complaints as there can be no guarantee of anonymity.

“Asking suppliers to complain to a body set up by those they are complaining about has no credibility or integrity.

“The best model is a UK Code of Practice. Labour is working on plans for a strong, enforceable code for supermarket practices,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

ENDS

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