Retailers, consumers, farmers: Where does the power lie in the food supply chain?

Retailers, consumers, farmers: Where does the power lie in the food supply chain?

4 Jan 2024

Evidence Session

Fairness in the Food Supply Chain inquiry

Tuesday 9 January at 14.30

Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

Watch live on

The relationship between food production costs, farmgate prices and retail prices will be investigated by the EFRA committee on Tuesday in the second session of the Committee’s Fairness in the Food Supply Chain inquiry.

Labour shortages in the food supply chain, concerns regarding the exploitation of workers under the seasonal worker scheme, and the pay and conditions of food workers will also be examined by MPs as they take evidence from representatives of UK food producers and food industry labour organisations.

The cross-party committee will explore the balance of power between food producers, manufacturers and retailers, particularly regarding price setting, and will ask how the structural relationship could be improved between these groups to provide greater fairness and transparency.

The adequacy of existing regulation, including enforcement of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) for supermarkets’ direct suppliers by the Groceries Code Adjudicator will come under scrutiny. One witness giving evidence will be the founder of Riverford Organic Farmers, who launched a petition calling for reform of the GSCOP to better protect farmers, that has garnered over 100,000 signatures.

Witnesses from 14.30:

  • Ali Capper, Executive Chair, British Apples & Pears Ltd
  • Lizzie Wilson, Chief Executive, National Pig Association (NPA)
  • Guy Singh-Watson, Founder, Riverford Organic Farmers
  • Michael Oakes, Dairy Board Chair, National Farmers Union (NFU)

From 15.30:

  • Sarah Woolley, General Secretary, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union
  • David Camp, Chair, Association of Labour Providers
  • Jacob Bolton, Research Officer, Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX)