Gangmasters Licensing Authority canvasses responses to revised supermarket protocol

Growers have until 22 January to respond to a second consultation launched by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) on its Supermarket Protocol, which aims to "help combat labour exploitation in the UK".

The revised consultation has been launched after proposals in the first caused alarm among organisations representing growers — including the NFU and the Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC).

They feared the protocol — which, if necessary, was to see retailers pass on information about their suppliers to the GLA — would keep growers and labour users out of the loop and damage their sensitive relationship with retailers.

The organisations voiced concerns about "the sharing of sensitive, commercial information and the potential use of retailers' commercial power in the supply chain as an extension of the operational powers of the GLA".

Since these concerns were raised last year, the GLA has gone back to the drawing board and altered its proposals so that they are fairer on growers.

The FPC welcomed the revised consultation, saying it shows the GLA recognises "the need to have a better understanding of the views of suppliers/labour users before developing the protocol further".

GLA chairman Paul Whitehouse said: "This protocol seeks to take advantage of the supermarkets and their supply chains' efforts to act in an ethical and socially responsible way. This consultation gives everybody the opportunity to contribute and I would urge people to put their views forward."

The consultation, which is available to view via the GLA website at www.gla.gov.uk, runs until 22 January.


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