Retail news round-up on March 16, 2016: Business Committee to formally summon Mike Ashley and supermarkets to curb food waste by a fifth.

MPs to formally summon Mike Ashley to hearing

Sports Direct billionaire founder Mike Ashley has been issued a formal order asking to appear in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on June 7 to answer questions on zero-hours contracts for most employees and its staff treatment at the sporting goods retailer.

Ashley initially refused calls by the MPs to explain its workplace policies.

A spokesman for the committee said it was reserving the right to take the matter further, “including seeking the support of the House of Commons in respect of any complaint of contempt” should the tycoon refuse to attend.

A spokesman for Sports Direct said: “We are extremely disappointed that the committee has apparently chosen to turn down Mike Ashley’s invitation to visit [the company’s head office in] Shirebrook to see things with their own eyes.”

‘Big Four’ grocers back voluntary agreement to slash food and drink waste

UK’s ‘Big Four’ supermarkets have vowed to reduce food and drink waste 20% by 2025.

Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Asda are supporting a voluntary agreement, which also aims to drive down greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth created by the food and drink industry.