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Irish Government Publishes Draft Grocery Goods Regulations For Consultation

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Irish Government Publishes Draft Grocery Goods Regulations For Consultation

Irish Government Publishes Draft Grocery Goods Regulations For Consultation
December 23
09:27 2014

The Irish Government has published draft regulations aimed at regulating certain practices in the grocery goods sector, following on from the enactment of the Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014.

The draft regulations are aimed at rebalancing relationships between different players in the grocery goods sector, and ensuring that dealings in the sector are fair and sustainable and operate in the interests of jobs, consumers and sustainable safe food. They are being issued for consultation and submissions are being sought from interested parties before 27th February 2015.

Among the areas covered by the draft regulations are:

* Requirement for grocery goods contracts to be in writing

* Requirement for good faith, transparency, openness and fairness in grocery goods dealings

* Restrictions on unlilateral changes to grocery goods contracts

* Restrictions on payment for shelf space, marketing costs, advertising costs, wastage, shrinkage

* Requirement for records to be retained for inspection and regular compliance statements to be made.

The regulations are designed to deliver on an important commitment in the Programme for Government.

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD says: “Earlier this year through the Competition and Consumer Protection Act we introduced powerful new investigation and enforcement powers to help ensure fairness between suppliers and retailers in the grocery goods sector. That Act also gave us the power to introduce strong regulations to govern relationships in this area. There is potentially a real inequality between these players which can be abused in a manner that is not in the interests of jobs, consumers or sustainable safe food. I am publishing the draft regulations that will guard against that.”

He continues: “Relationships will continue to be based on commerce and prices will continue to be set by hard negotiations – this is in the interests of consumers. However new legal provisions will require that in future, contracts must be in writing, certain terms must be included, records must be retained for inspection and a compliance statement must be made. These measures together with strong enforcement powers will ensure that these relationships are fair and sustainable. I look forward to hearing feedback from all stakeholders in this area before making decisions on the final regulations for implementation during 2015.”

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