Bakery manufacturers have welcomed the government’s decision to appoint an independent adjudicator to regulate the relationships between supermarkets and their suppliers.

The adjudicator, which will be set up over the next 18 months, will act in a similar fashion to an ombudsman, monitoring and enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

Suppliers that make complaints to the adjudicator about what they feel are unfair supermarket practices will be guaranteed anonymity.

"This is good news for smaller bakery suppliers who are being screwed to the wall by the supermarkets," said one baker who supplies the multiples. "Supermarkets have crushed the baking industry over the years and this will help give it more of a voice."

Food and Drink Federation director general Melanie Leech also welcomed the move. "The adjudicator will be of particular help for smaller businesses, ensuring the food chain operates fairly and in the best interests of consumers. We would urge the government to make it a reality as quickly as possible."

However, Stephen Robertson, British Retail Consortium director general, said the adjudicator would add unnecessary costs. "With an independent budget and no direct reporting line to the Office of Fair Trading or government, this is a quango. Quangos cost and this will reduce the efficiency of the supply chain."