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Plaid welcome Groceries Ombudsman with real teeth

04/12/2012

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards has welcomed the news that the new Groceries Ombudsman - brought about by the passing of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill - will be handed power to impose fines from day one.

Mr Edwards, who has campaigned extensively on this issue with Westminster colleagues, said that an Ombudsman with real teeth is just what was required to deliver a good deal for farmers and thousands of other people working within the agricultural sector.

Mr Edwards said:

"It is very welcome news that the Government has acted to empower the Ombudsman with the ability to levy fines, as advocated by Plaid Cymru since 2004 when Simon Thomas AM, the former MP for Ceredigion introduced a private members bill.

"This move will benefit the thousands of people working within the agricultural sector, particularly within the milk industry. 

"The agricultural industry makes a huge contribution to the Welsh economy and its employees deserve to be treated with fairness and respect.

We are therefore pleased to see the Government take steps to ensure that the supermarkets are forced to deliver fairness throughout the supply chain.

"Recently, the dairy industry has faced a crisis due to a cut in the price of milk, leaving farmers at a loss and paying more to produce than sell.

“It is encouraging to learn that the Department for Business have listened to concerns that their original Ombudsman lacked the powers required to protect farmers.  I look forward with interest to seeing the amended legislative proposals in detail."