Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda have been furiously lobbying against plans for an indepdendent ombudsman to stop them trampling over the interests of suppliers, The Observer reveals today.
FOI requests made by Friends of the Earth and ActionAid show that, between April 2008 and August 2009, the retail giants held 13 meetings with officials and ministers, including three with Lord Mandelson.
Strangely, the Groceries Market Action Group was a rather less frequent visitor to Mandelson’s empire.
The group, which represents UK farmers, manufacturers and small shops and producers from developing countries, had only one meeting. And they didn’t even get Mandy, instead having to make do with competition minister, Kevin Brennan.
If only they had a few former Downing Street employees, or a shareholder who used to be a minister…