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Bill sets up Supermarket Code of Practice and Ombudsman

7 December 2010

Bill sets up Supermarket Code of Practice and Ombudsman

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley is today launching a Private Members Bill which would require a Supermarket Code of Practice and a Supermarket Ombudsman to be set up.

Ms Kedgley intends to put it into the Parliamentary ballot on Thursday.

The Bill will require a Supermarket Code of Practice to be drawn up, and the position of a Supermarket Ombudsman established to enforce the code of practice. The code would set out an open and transparent set of rules around the supply chain practices of supermarkets, and protect suppliers against unfair or anti-competitive trading practices.

“New Zealand needs a code of practice and a Supermarket Ombudsman, to ensure that suppliers as well as consumers are fairly treated,” said Ms Kedgley.

“At the moment, with just two supermarket chains in New Zealand, the buying power of supermarkets is so extensive they can dictate to, or even bully, suppliers.

“They can also play suppliers off against each other, passing excessive and unfair costs on to them.

“I have been informed that supermarkets will sometimes threaten suppliers with the loss of business if they supply a competitor, and use other unfair trading practices.

“This is totally unacceptable and we need a clear and transparent set of rules to ensure that suppliers as well as consumers are fairly treated.”

“At present the situation in New Zealand is such that many suppliers are close to going out of business.

“And if the viability of the growers and suppliers of supermarket produce is threatened this will be bad both for jobs and the economy as well as consumers,” said Ms Kedgley.

Note: A similar Code of Practice exists in the United Kingdom which is also setting up a Grocery Code Adjudicator to enforce the code.

ENDS

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