The FDII issued a document outlining its policy recommendations for 2013, which include a call for better government support of the industry’s voluntary reformulation efforts, removing the agri-food sector from free trade agreements, ensuring increased volumes of sustainably produced raw materials through the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform, and avoiding food and drink taxes.
“Legislation to introduce a statutory code of practice for the grocery sector must be introduced as a matter of urgency,” the FDII said in a statement accompanying its policy recommendations.
It said that a grocery code of practice would promote domestic fair trade and international free trade, thereby encouraging a competitive marketplace.
FDII Director Paul Kelly said: "It is an urgent priority for the food sector that government legislate for a grocery code of conduct. Across Europe governments are taking steps to better regulate the relationship between retailers and their suppliers to stop unfair demands being placed on suppliers.
"In the short-term these unfair demands impact on individual suppliers, but ultimately are also bad for consumers. Consumers are best served by a grocery market that is both fair and competitive, one that offers choice and convenience, and provides an outlet for new products and suppliers."
He added that alongside a grocery code of conduct, government policy on issues like sustainability, public health, environmental controls, domestic demand, and objectives of increased export growth should be better aligned with industry needs.