Groceries Adjudicator Bill - Where's The Teeth?

SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) reacted with scepticism to the publication in today's Queen's Speech of a Grocery Adjudicator Bill that, unless significantly beefed up, will just be a toothless tiger.

Alyn will meet with UK Agriculture Minister Jim Paice in Brussels next week to outline his concerns that such details of the Bill as exist suggest that the eventual Adjudicator will need a lot more teeth to make any objective impact.
 
Speaking from Brussels, Alyn said:
 
"This has been a long time coming, and I'll confess I thought they had quietly killed it off but, fair play, a Bill has been announced.  However, the volume and pitch of the PR fanfare accompanying it make me suspicious.  
 
"If this is to be based on the weak, insipid and uninspiring Groceries Code then it does not bode well.  As a lawyer to trade myself, I am well aware that there are ample competition laws already in place, yet successive weak and toothless Competition Commission and OFT inquiries have given the clearly malfunctioning food supply chain a clean bill of health despite ample evidence that we have a problem.
 
"I have no doubt that an office of Adjudicator can be created, and indeed a worthy and well meaning individual appointed, but unless he or she has significant powers, and the political backing, to investigate and impose real penalties then so what?  The idea that the hard-bitten organisations we are dealing with might be 'named and shamed' does not strike me as likely to strike fear in their hearts.
 
"On paper, I'm glad this is at long last moving forward and I want to welcome this more enthusiastically.  Previous experience makes me more worried this will be a toothless tiger."