Following pressure from MPs, food growers and manufacturers, the powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator have been extended to offer greater protection to suppliers of the large supermarkets. In the most serious cases, retailers who fail to comply with the Grocery Supply Code of Practice and treat suppliers unfairly may now face substantial fines. Changing contract terms retrospectively or charging excessive fees to stock products, for example, could result in a fine. Retailers will, however, have full right of appeal against any fines.

Guidelines on proposed maximum fines will be published in the New Year.