Complaints to grocery ombudsman ‘should be anonymous’

22 January, 2010

A trading body representing small suppliers says a government pledge to introduce a grocery ombudsman should come with a guarantee of anonymity for anyone who registers a complaint.

The government has said it will appoint an ombudsman to regulate a new grocery supplies code of practice due to come into effect on February 4.

The code will cover supplier issues such as late payment, retrospective pricing and consumer complaints.

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said the appointment would be welcome but that suppliers needed reassurances.

“One of the main problems is that many suppliers feel intimidated into silence and do not speak out,” he said?.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “There is a consensus that action is needed to make this happen quickly and to end the negative effects of harmful buying practices.”?? See analysis on page 24

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