'Gobsmacked' Samuel calls for supermarket cops to settle disputes

Coles, Woolworths, Adli, and IGA-supplier Metcash would each have their own in-house supermarket cop to settle disputes with suppliers under a proposal being pushed by former consumer watchdog Graeme Samuel.

The "adjudicators" would be based on former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett's role as an independent arbiter at Coles, and would have the power to make binding decisions to resolve complaints and order compensation.

Mr Samuel will push for the positions to be made mandatory in his review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, which was introduced three years ago following allegations of unfair conduct by the major supermarkets.

“I like the Kennett model, but it needs to be codified so that retailers will have to put in place independent, objective adjudicators whose determination is binding for the retailer," he told Fairfax Media on Wednesday.

Mr Samuel said there were similar roles used in the United Kingdom, and in Australia they would handle complaints and disputes that were too small and numerous for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which was there to prosecute systemic misbehaviour.

Source: Brisbanetimes.com.au