MEP moves over supermarket “domination” Published: 21 November, 2005
SCOTTISH National Party President and MEP, Ian Hudghton, has written to Sarah Boyack MSP, Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment and Rural Development Committee, urging that the Committee’s inquiry into supermarket domination of the farming market includes an investigation into similar effects on fish processors.
After consulting with the Scottish farmers’ union, the Committee has decided to launch an inquiry into the “unstoppable” supermarket influence on Scottish farming produce and market prices. Mr Hudghton, however, says that it is not only the farmers that are suffering, but fishing processors are at an equal disadvantage.
“The issue of supermarket monopolisation on the Scottish farming industry has been raised by the Scottish Parliament’s Committee and rightly so. While there is rightly a place for healthy market competition, this is now lopsided in favour of major chain supermarkets, which dictate the market prices with which farmers must operate.
“The problem is not, unfortunately, restricted to agriculture, but also affects fish processors. I believe processors in Scotland have just as much to risk by raising their grievances as farmers. Yet, this has rarely been mentioned in the general debates on this issue.
“Fish processors also must work within the prices which are dictated by major supermarkets, their most significant buyers. While the supermarkets undoubtedly provide an invaluable market for fish processors and farm producers alike, they must not be in a position to hold entire industries to ransom.
“I have therefore written to Sarah Boyack to ask that the impact of supermarket monopolisation on fish processors is not overlooked by the Committee inquiry. It would be odd to look investigate one industry which is the victim of commercial bullying, while overlooking another. I hope my suggestion will be considered. ”
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