Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:24 pm on 13th February 2020.

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Diana Holland:

First of all, we really welcome the recognition that protection needs to be built in to the supply chain. However, we are concerned that there is not sufficient detail, and how it will work in practice needs to be fleshed out in more detail. In our experience, holding different stages in the supply chain to account is a very difficult thing to enforce. Often, when workers are at the end of that supply chain, they are the last people to be considered. Something that may have been very well intentioned at one end of that supply chain pushes enormous pressures at the other. If there are savings to be made, it would be on the amounts of money that are paid.

We want protections built in, so that part of enforcement along the supply chain would be to check that that is not happening, and that it is not a method of passing on pressures to cut standards and people’s pay. It is really important that it is in there, but we feel that there should be more detail. I have not identified any contradictions with other legislation, but when it comes to the detail, that would need to be taken into account.