Government code of conduct must stop certain sharp practices
Senator Noone today spoke about the need to ensure a Government code of conduct is put together “urgently” in order to prevent future instances of “Hello Money” taking place in our supermarkets.
Senator Noone said: “It’s part of the modern unfair playing field in the grocery market, where supermarket chains are demanding ‘hello money’ in order to allow new, small, niche businesses to obtain shelf space. This ‘pay to play’ mentality is damaging to business, damaging to consumers and damaging to entrepreneurship”.
Senator Noone continued: “Examples of ‘hello money’ can be in five or six figure sums and, in addition to that, there are also claims from small businesses that retailers are asking for money to prevent products being ‘delisted’ as well as retailers asking for compensation when a product went out of stock”.
Senator Noone added: “These are just a few examples of the sharp practices that are being engaged in and, up and down the country, they are damaging small food producers, farmers and innovators as they seek to compete in a market where fewer, large players dominate the groceries sector”.
Senator Noone concluded: “For the sake of competition, and in order to facilitate continued innovation, we need to ensure that these practices are curbed in the future. Large multiple chains should not be allowed to abuse their market advantage”.
Notes: It is believed the code of practice will be part of a wide-ranging Bill, the Consumer and Competition Bill, that also dealt with the merger of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency as well as the recommendations of the expert group on media mergers.