[John Cummings in the Chair] — Agriculture (South-West)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 20th January 2009.

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Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Liberal Democrat, St Ives 9:30 am, 20th January 2009

My hon. Friend will say something about his position on this later, but because of the decoupled world in which farmers exist, they are much more market sensitive. He correctly identified a serious problem in the relationship between farmers and supermarkets, and nearly a year ago the Competition Commission recommended the establishment of an ombudsman. However, the fear is that that proposal would involve examining only the relationship between the supermarkets and the final supplier, not the relationship between the supermarkets and the primary producer. Does he agree that officials in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Minister need to talk about that with their colleagues in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform?