New regulations signed into law to level the playing field between supermakets and their suppliers
JOBS Minister, Richard Bruton, has today signed new rules into law, giving grocery suppliers much increased protection from supermarket chains.
The new legislation will force grocery retailers to give suppliers written contracts, and will prevent such contracts from being terminated without the consent of both parties.
Under the new laws, grocery chains in Ireland will no longer be permitted to charge suppliers for shelf space, or to insist that they pay for promotions or specific marketing campaigns which are taking place in-store.
The rules also dictate that supermarkets must pay suppliers for goods within 30 days of delivery.
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin today, Minister Bruton said that there is a genuine inequality between the various players in the grocery sector that is open to abuse.
He said that the new law seeks to "rebalance the relationship among different players in the grocery goods sector".
The minister said that unethical practices have a knock-on negative effect on jobs, consumers and sustainable safe food.
“I am now signing an initial set of regulations into law, focusing on food and drink.
"Relationships between retailers and suppliers will continue to be based on commerce, and prices will continue to be set by hard and tough negotiations.
"New legal provisions will require that contracts must be in writing, certain terms must be included, records must be retained for inspection and a compliance statement must be made," he said.
Minister Bruton said that when combined with strong enforcement powers, the new measures will ensure that the relationships under scrutiny are both fair and sustainable.
The Consumer Protection Act 2007 gives The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission powers to enforce compliance with these new regulations.