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Greens: Compulsory Code of Conduct Bill for supermarkets

3 April 2014

Green Party launches Compulsory Code of Conduct Bill for supermarkets

The Green Party has today launched legislation that will see a compulsory code of conduct brought in for New Zealand supermarkets and a fairer, more transparent system for New Zealand suppliers.

“New Zealand growers, producers and small businesses deserve a fair deal when supplying to supermarkets,” said Green Party food spokesperson Mojo Mathers.

“At the moment the two main supermarket chains have too much power and many suppliers are fearful of speaking out against unfair practices.

“The system is not working and the Green Party is committed to fixing it.”

Mojo Mathers has introduced a Member’s Bill that will establish both an independent supermarkets adjudicator and a compulsory code.

The adjudicator will be tasked with working with the industry to develop a mandatory supermarket code of conduct and will have the power to investigate and resolve breaches of the code.

“My Bill will help make the supermarket system transparent and fairer for both suppliers and consumers.”

Ms Mathers said there was no need to wait for the outcome of the Commerce Commission inquiry into Progressive Enterprises.

“The Green Party is clear that both an independent supermarket adjudicator and compulsory code of conduct is needed,” said Ms Mathers.

“The issues are not new. It has been clear for years that the current system is not working. What is needed is a mandatory code of conduct and an adjudicator to develop and enforce that code. There is no need to delay taking action to tackle the problem. ”

“New Zealand has one of the most concentrated grocery markets in the world and it’s failing many suppliers and consumers.

“Experience from the UK and from Australia shows that voluntary codes don’t work because there is too great an imbalance in power between the negotiating parties.

“The code will establish a transparent and fair agreement on how negotiations between parties will be conducted; and a clear process for disputes resolution.”

To see a copy of the Bill, go to: www.greens.org.nz/misc-documents/commerce-supermarket-adjudicator-and-code-conduct-amendment-bill

ENDS

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