3 Apr 2014

Hint of compulsory code for supermarkets

12:25 pm on 3 April 2014

Commerce Minister Craig Foss is hinting the Government could impose a compulsory code on supermarkets.

He has been encouraging the industry to develop a voluntary code of conduct

But Mr Foss says the Government will wait for the Commerce Commission to finish its investigation into accusations of anti-competitive behaviour against the Countdown chain before making a decision.

The investigation has prompted talk of the need for a voluntary code and Mr Foss discussed the matter briefly with supermarket representatives last month. But he now agrees nothing should be done before the investigation is completed.

Both the Retailers Association and the Food & Grocery Council are not interested in discussing a code before the commission reports back.

The minister says he's made no judgment on what should happen, including whether a compulsory code should be imposed.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says the Government is unlikely to do anything contrary to the interests of the two supermarket chains.