About an hour ago, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills sent out a Press Release with the announcement we've all been hoping for - that the Groceries Code Adjudicator will be given the power to fine from day one. This is exactly what our October Pray & Post card 'SQUEEZED', that so many of you signed, called for!
As Jo Swinson MP says,
the fact that the Adjudicator has the power to impose [fines] will send a strong message to retailers that compliance with the Code is not optional".
I am confident that these changes will mean that the Adjudicator is able to ensure fair play in the food supply chain".
We certainly hope so! In the SQUEEZED Pray & Post card were reminded of overworked farmers like Jane, whose poverty wages are a direct result of UK Supermarkets' manipulation of small suppliers, permitted by the absence of a strong, just and effective Groceries Code Adjudicator. (Read the pull-out for more info). Now, with an Adjudicator that has the power to fine from day one, workers like Jane are more likely to be paid a fair wage - Alleluia!
It's encouraging to know that when we speak, MPs really do listen. It was just last week that we delivered 165 signed Pray & Post cards from the Network, adding to those being delivered by Traidcraft and other campaigns organisations. And let's not forget that the story goes further back, to when SPEAK orignially lobbied the government on this issue in January 2009. As Jo Swinson MP notes,
We have heard the views of the stakeholders who were keen to give the Adjudicator a power to fine"
Let us celebrate this success by giving glory back to God. After all, by campaigning for justice here we were simply following his example - "I will speak out against those who cheat employees of their wages" [Malachi 3:5]. Raise up to the Lord a prayer of thanksgiving, and worship him for his faithfulness. (Fancy writing a prayer all of us can use to go up on the blog? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). And if you have been meaning to send your Pray & Post card in but haven't got round to it yet, don't worry - we'll be handing in some more soon to say thank you for the decision!