The Association said suppliers to major retailers will have to abide by the Groceries Code of Practice until the ombudsman is appointed, leaving suppliers open to unrealistic conditions imposed by supermarkets.
CLA President William Worsley said: "Since 2003, the CLA has been calling for an independent body to adjudicate disputes between supermarkets and suppliers.
"After eight years of delays, we finally have a draft Bill but this is just the start of a long legislative process. There is no guarantee that a final Bill will ensure an adjudicator is in place by 2013. Suppliers deserve better than this."
Mr Worsley added: "The clause in the draft Bill to allow the names of suppliers who make a complaint to an adjudicator to remain anonymous is welcomed. This at least provides a form of protection that is not apparent in the Groceries Code."