‘Groceries code adjudicator must look at food safety’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has called for the Groceries Code Adjudicator to be granted the remit to investigate and address matters related to food provenance, food safety and the wider operation of the supply chain. Speaking following her contribution to the debate on the remaining stages of the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, Ritchie said, “Following the recent horsemeat scandal it has become clear that matters of food provenance and labelling are central to the functioning of the supply chain. “It is evident that better procedures are absolutely essential in safeguarding consumers and suppliers alike and I believe the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill offers the opportunity to address some of these issues. “I have supported the Bill since its introduction and previously called for the adjudicator to be granted the power to levy fines, which has since been accepted by the government. Ritchie continued, “However it has become clear in the wake of the current scandal over food contamination that the adjudicator needs to be properly equipped to report any infringements or issues that relate to food safety, hygiene or origin. “The adjudicator should also be able to give consideration to whether commercial pressures or criminal activity pose a risk to consumer’s safety and well-being when recommending any changes to the existing Groceries Code. “I support this Bill and the protections it will grant to suppliers but it is clear in light of the events of recent weeks that the Groceries Code Adjudicator also has a potentially important role to play in safeguarding consumers from the contamination of the supply chain,” she added.
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