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Highland farmers and food producers should benefit from the new supermarket watchdog according to Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey MP Danny Alexander.

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury says the ombudsman will be able to act against supermarkets which undermine supplier's commercial viability by transferring the risks and unexpected costs to them.

The move has been welcomed by a range of campaign groups, including the National Farmers Union Scotland, Friends of the Earth and Action Aid, and is expected to be up and running by the middle of next year.

Highland MP Danny Alexander says:

"I have been campaigning for a grocery watchdog over many years, and as part of this government, to make the market fairer and get a better deal for our farmers and producers.

"Farmers, in the Highlands and across the country, will now be able to enter into contracts with confidence, knowing they will get a fair deal from retailers. I am extremely proud that we are delivering on this in Government."


Notes for editors:

The independent ombudsman will have the power to name and shame, and possibly levy fines from supermarkets which transfer risks and unexpected cost to their supplier companies - in a way which undermined their commercial viability and damage the market. They will also be able to hear complaints in complete confidence not only from suppliers but also from third party organisations.

Highland Libdems