UK farming groups have urged the government to draw up a stricter set of rules for supermarkets to prevent them from exploiting suppliers.

Parts of the National Farmers’ Union joined with organic food lobby group the Soil Association, environment group Friends of the Earth and other pressure groups to call for a new supermarket code of practice and a new watchdog to regulate the industry, reported Reuters.

“The government must act urgently to draw up a new code and impose it on the supermarkets,” Friends of the Earth food and farming campaigner Sandra Bell was quoted as saying.

“There must also be an independent watchdog with the power to protect suppliers and to ensure consumer choice and quality of goods is not being damaged in what has become a very concentrated grocery market,” Bell added. 

The current supermarket code of practice is being reviewed by the UK Office of Fair Trading.