§ Mr. Laurence Robertson
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he plans to introduce a code of practice for retailers of farm produce; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Quin
[holding answer 5 March 2001]: The Ministry has no plans to introduce a code of practice for retailers of farm produce. However, last October my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry asked the Director General of Fair Trading to seek the agreement of the major supermarkets to a binding Code of Practice that addressed the specific concerns identified by the Competition Commission in their report on the supply of groceries from multiple stores. These concerns dealt with the relationship between the supermarkets and their suppliers, including farmers. The Office of Fair Trading is taking this forward and has recently sent a draft Code to representatives of suppliers for comment.