Competition Commission offers hope to grocery suppliers

Last Friday, the Competition Commission published its long awaited provisional decisions on how to remedy its competition findings in the grocery sector. For suppliers to the large supermarket chains, that have felt frustrated in the past with the way their bills are paid, and disputes resolved,the document offers some real hope.To me, the most important proposal is that an ombudsman would be appointed to look into disputes and proactively investigate confidential complaints from suppliers about dubious trade practices.The CC says that this is their preferred route, otherwise they suggest an independent arbitrator, who I’m guessing would have lesser powers.Now we will await reaction over the next few weeks before the CC finalises everything in April/May.we’ll soon find out just how powerful the supermarket lobby is- will the ombudsman stay in the final report, or will things be watered down?

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