The Food & Grocery Council welcomes the Government’s latest steps towards better and fairer deals for supermarket shoppers and suppliers.

“Establishing a Grocery Commissioner inside the Commerce Commission is a great move,” a spokesman says.

“This shows very clearly just how serious the Government is about what’s been happening across the supermarket sector, both from a shopper and a supplier point of view.

“The Commissioner will hold supermarkets to account and help promote the competition shoppers and the sector as a whole so desperately need. A hard-nosed approach is exactly what is needed, and this is the right way to go to ensure that happens.

“The Commission has a wealth of information at its fingertips the commissioner will be able to call on. As well as intimate knowledge of economic and competition regulation, fair trading, and consumer protection, the Commission now has a very deep understanding of the grocery sector thanks to its work on the grocery market study.

“If the experience of having the telecommunications regulator inside the Commerce Commission is anything to go by, the supermarkets can now expect their feet to be held to the fire over everything from pricing at the checkout to the egregious and stand-over tactics suffered by suppliers during negotiations over the past 10 or so years.

“We are looking forward to the legislation establishing the Commissioner receiving passage through Parliament as a matter of priority and for a Commissioner to be appointed soon after that.”

The Food & Grocery Council also welcomes the discussion document on the mandatory supermarket Code of Conduct and encourages companies and individuals to make a submission.

“Since 2010 we have been calling for a code to ensure suppliers get a fair deal, and this is taking us one step closer.

“Commerce Minister David Clark is to be congratulated for advancing this work so swiftly, and now we await the next steps to implementing the Commerce Commission’s 14 recommendations, including the final shape of the new wholesale regulation rules later this year.”

Read more on the Government’s announcement

Read the Code of Conduct discussion document