Malcolm Walker, the boss of frozen food chain Iceland, has hit out at the Grocery Supplier Code of Practice, which comes into force today, calling it a “complete waste of time”.
Walker said that the code, which is meant to protect small suppliers and farmers from alleged bullying tactics by supermarkets, will not change anything.
The code, overseen by the Office of Fair Trading, replaces an earlier code that only covered the big four supermarkets. Iceland must comply with the strengthened code even though it is a smaller chain.
Walker told the Telegraph: “We are going to do the bare minimum [to comply]. It’s a complete waste of time. We will do the minimum for compliance reluctantly because we have to.”
He added: “Nothing is going to change. It is the nature of life. Big suppliers bully small retailers and big retailers bully small suppliers. It is a fact of life.”
Walker has also described the proposed supermarket ombudsman “madness “. He said he was disappointed that the Conservative party have said that they would back its introduction. “The Tories-who we will all be forced to vote for in the election- say they want to get rid of quangos and deregulate, and what do they do? Create another one.
“I think it’s madness. The ombudsman- what an earth is that all about? I think it’s outrageous what is happening,” he said.