Asda has dropped its opposition to the inclusion of international suppliers in a new code of conduct governing the relationship between food producers and supermarkets. 

The UK’s Competition Commission proposed the code of conduct when it unveiled the findings of its two-year inquiry into the grocery sector last week. It will be applicable to all grocery retailers with annual turnover exceeding GBP1bn (US$2bn).

Before the final report was delivered, Asda had submitted an objection to the inclusion of overseas suppliers.

“We had a number of concerns about the cost of implementing the code internationally. As we already operate under a strict ethical code in our dealings with suppliers, it was felt that this costly bureaucracy was unjustified expense,” an Asda spokesperson told just-food.

“We have now been reassured that the proposal is feasible and this has led us to drop our opposition.”

However, Asda has maintained its opposition to the Commission’s proposed creation of an ombudsman to police the relationship between suppliers and retailers.

“This will cost billions of pounds, and it is likely that the expense will be passed on to consumers,” the spokesperson said.