Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes
The Welsh Government has consistently supported the strengthening of the legislation creating a Groceries Code Adjudicator. In my correspondence with Ministers at the UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills I have continued to press for a number of amendments that would provide the Adjudicator with the powers to deliver effective regulation of the supply chain. I have also sought to argue that it should have the necessary power to impose fines in cases where serious breaches of the Code are detected, from the outset, rather than as a matter of last resort as was the approach taken until this week. I welcome the acknowledgement from the UK Competition Minister that the Groceries Code Adjudicator needs to have the immediate power to fine the larger retailers appropriately in such cases. I understand that the legislation will now include these necessary powers, which I have consistently supported.
I hope that this amendment will be welcomed as an added protection by those businesses supplying the larger retailers. At the same time retailers should not however be prevented from securing the best possible deals for their customers, but equally should be required to treat their suppliers fairly.