The IFA has called for the establishment of an independent retail ombudsman in Ireland to regulate the grocery market here.

It comes in the aftermath of findings yesterday from the UK groceries code adjudicator against Tesco.

Christine Tacon found that the retailer deliberately delayed payments to suppliers and, in some cases, paid them less than they were owed in an attempt to meet financial targets.

In a statement, Tesco Ireland said the report related to Tesco in the UK. However, it failed to say whether or not Irish suppliers had been affected by the delayed payments practice.

It added that Tesco UK carried out a comprehensive review of how it works with all its 3,000 suppliers, including Irish suppliers who supply to Tesco's UK business.

MEP Mairead McGuinness said the findings raised questions as to how widespread the practice is, not just in the UK, but across the EU, including in Ireland.

She added that the abuses uncovered in the UK made a voluntary code of conduct by major retailers appear 'naive in the extreme'.

Ms McGuinness said an EU wide strong legal code was necessary with the ability to impose penalties where multiples were found to have breached the code.

The Department of Enterprise and Jobs has said that new grocery regulations, governing the relationship between supermarkets and suppliers, are set to be signed by Minister Richard Bruton in the coming weeks.

A consultation on the proposed new rules was launched over a year ago.