Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Supermarket News update; The competition Comission report is out

Mixed final report from Competition Commission

* Good news for farmers and suppliers

The Competition Commission’s final report on supermarkets has confirmed that the big retailers have been treating farmers and suppliers unfairly. It is great news that the Commission has proposed a set of remedies aimed at stopping their bully boy tactics - these have finally come after years of campaigning by Friends of the Earth so thank you to everyone who sent them emails, letters and postcards.

They will now toughen up the Supermarket Code of Practice – which aims to stamp out unfair practices. And they have also called for a new watchdog to police the code.

* But it’s bad news for high streets

Not all the news is good – the Commission has missed the opportunity to promote vibrant town centres and protect independent shops. They failed to acknowledge the vital role that small shops play in our communities. Under their proposals the Tesco Takeover will roll on.

The Commission's report makes it more important than ever to let Government know that positive planning policies are needed. The Commission has failed to act but Government still can.


Please ask your MP to sign the new Early Day Motion 1371 to show their support for better, stronger planning policies and thriving high streets:

To read the full text of EDM 1371, and to check whether your MP has already signed it, please go to:

Thank you for all your support,

see also
'Our assessment is that the basis of Tesco’s position is not insurmountable; there is nothing that Tesco does that could not, over time, be challenged by competitors. There is a risk that at some point in the future the number of Tesco stores that do not face strong competition increases and there would be further deterioration of the retail offer that would harm consumers. Such a develop-ment could also take place with any other large retailer.'

I wonder how much that favourable conclusion cost Tesco, every little helps. Clearly if their stategy failed they could loose money or position, but that wasn't the question. Tesco now controls 30% of the grocery market in the UK. Growing evidence indicates that Tesco's success is partly based on trading practices that are having serious consequences for suppliers, farmers and workers worldwide, local shops and the environment. Its time for a change.

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