New grocers' code to protect exhibitors

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Marketing manager for the Specialty and Fine Food Fair 2010, organised by Fresh RM, has commented on government plans for a new code of practice for grocers and suppliers. The government plans to appoint an ombudsman to enforce the new code, which was proposed after an investigation by the Competition Commission found large-scale retailers, or ‘multiples’, were passing on excessive risks and costs to their suppliers. According to Fresh RM’s Rob Collins, nothing is certain until the general election. However, he doesn’t expect any new code to seriously affect people’s behaviour at the Specialty and Fine Food Fair in September. “In theory it should help our exhibitors. Having said that, I would be surprised if there was a significant change in people’s lives,” says Collins. “What it’s designed to do is to protect the supply chain, but it won’t make suppliers’ lives any easier negotiating with multiples. It’s their behaviour that has prompted this action. They have basically squeezed the margins down to the bones. That’s okay if you’re Tesco, but if you aren’t it makes life more difficult,” he adds.
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