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Mark Williams raises plight of small rural farmers in the Grocery Code Adjudicator Debate

November 20, 2012 11:57 AM

Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has raised the plight of small rural farmers in the Grocery Code Adjudicator Bill second reading debate, yesterday evening in the House of Commons.

During the debate, Mark Williams reminded the Minister that much of Wales' farming happens on small rural family farms, which do not have direct supply contracts with retailers. Therefore it is important that the Adjudicator is accessible to people throughout the supply chain, and crucially, is accessible all the way down the supply chain.

He also raised the issue of giving the Adjudicator the power to impose fines on retailers from the outset, expressing concern the that the six month delay to set up the mechanism for the Adjudicator to fine as the Bill currently stands, would be cumbersome and laborious.

Commenting, Mark Williams said,

'The Adjudicator is a very welcome and important step forward on the path to fair treatment for farmers. However, in my conversations with farmers and with the local farming unions is it apparent that it will not solve all of the problems for the many small scale farmers we have in Ceredigion.

'I hope the final legislation on the Adjudicator produces a body which is open and easy for producers to contact and make complaints to. That is crucial for the Adjudicator to have a positive impact on the lives of small scale farmers.'