FENLAND based agricultural accountants Moore Thompson have welcomed the announcement of a new Groceries Code Adjudicator as an “important step” towards fairer deals for farmers.

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Christine Tacon, the former head of the Co-op’s farming business, will initially serve as the Adjudicator-Designate, as the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, which will formally create the position, is currently before parliament at the Committee Stage.

As Groceries Code Adjudicator, Ms Tacon will have responsibility to ensure that large supermarkets treat suppliers and farmers fairly and lawfully.

Ms Tacon, who currently chairs the BBC Rural Affairs Advisory Committee, previously spent 12 years in fast moving consumer goods, as marketing director at Anchor Foods and brand manager with Mars Confectionary and Vodafone. In 2004 she was awarded an MBE for services to agriculture.

Andrew Heskin, a partner in Moore Thompson’s Farming Sector team, said: “The appointment of a new Groceries Code Adjudicator is an important step in getting farmers a fairer deal from the large supermarkets and processors.

“For many farmers who supply supermarkets they feel the relationship is too one-sided, with supermarkets offering unfair prices for their goods and produce.

“Farmers and suppliers rely on a good deal from supermarkets to remain financially stable.

“At Moore Thompson we are hopeful that Ms Tacon will be a positive influence for the agriculture sector, ensuring that our farmers and suppliers can look forward to a successful and productive future.”

Ms Tacon said: “Being the Groceries Code Adjudicator is a significant responsibility, and I am honoured to have been given the chance to make a permanent and enduring difference to the groceries sector.”

Moore Thompson has offices in Wisbech, Spalding and Market Deeping.

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