Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Right Royal Request

Sadly, it looks like Redbridge Council will be letting their status as a Fairtrade Borough fall by the wayside of Austerity Road, Ilford, IG1 1DD. But that doesn’t mean Fairtrade has gone away and it doesn’t mean Fairtrade is just for farmers in Africa. Farmers, here in the UK, are also being squeezed by the mega multi-national bullies we know as Supermarkets.

That’s why Fairtrade Foundation are lobbying government right now to introduce a Watchdog for farmers and suppliers.

Four years ago the Competition Commission, the official body for market fairness, called for a regulator to protect all supermarket suppliers from unfair treatment. This year - with your help - we finally have the opportunity to make this happen.
In a matter of weeks the Queen will give her speech on the government’s programme for the year ahead. Sitting in ministers' in-trays is a Bill to create a Grocery Code Adjudicator – a watchdog to hear complaints and take action. The proposals are not perfect, but it's a good first step to providing farmers and suppliers with a mechanism to ensure fair dealing.

The watchdog, called the Grocery Code Adjudicator, will ensure that supermarkets do not break the Grocery Supply Code Of Practice (GSCOP). This code bans a number of unfair practices, such as:

  • Supermarkets changing the price paid to the supplier of goods, even after they have been delivered and sold in store
  • Making suppliers pay for goods stolen from stores
  • Making suppliers pay for refurbishment of supermarkets.
Some shoppers would be quite surprised that some of these practices existed, let alone needed banning.

You might like to help by dropping a note to your MP. Every little helps!

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