New Groceries Code Adjudicator Explains Role

UK - Groceries Code Adjudicator designate Christine Tacon has visited the National Farmers Union to explain her new role to staff.
calendar icon 19 April 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Ms Tacon will be responsible for enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), which covers interactions between the ten largest supermarkets with an annual turnover of over £1bn and their direct suppliers.

“The public want to know that suppliers are being treated fairly and it is vital, in my role as Adjudicator, that I improve the business environment for direct suppliers to the trade. This in turn will help to improve the health of UK farming,” she said. “I am pleased that the NFU is working alongside me to help farmers understand the role and scope of the Adjudicator, and to highlight areas where the Grocery Supply Code of Practice is being breached.”

NFU Director General Andy Robertson said: “The NFU welcomed Christine to our National Policy Forum, where she was able to explain to more than 50 NFU staff how she will go about her work and hear our concerns over the way in which the supply chain operates.

“We are confident that, with Christine’s level of understanding and determination, her impending appointment will address problems of unfair treatment of suppliers by major retailers that can undermine farming businesses across the UK.”

NFU members with information that they believe is an issue for the Grocery Code Adjudicator should contact their local NFU representative.

Key points:

  • The GCA only covers interactions between retailers and direct suppliers.
  • The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) applies to ten retailers, annual turnover £1bn+
  • Tesco, The Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, Iceland and Morrisons

GSCOP covers the following:

  • No variation of supply agreements without notice
  • Goods must be paid for on time
  • Limits on seeking payments for shrinkage/ wastage
  • No listing fees, except in limited circumstances
  • Suppliers to be compensated for forecasting errors
  • No position payments unless in relation to a promotion
  • No making suppliers fund promotions predominantly
  • No over-ordering at promotional price
  • Suppliers must not be made to make unjustified payment to a retailer for consumer complaints
  • De-listed only for genuine commercial reasons
  • Must give reasonable notice of and opportunity to discuss delisting with Code Compliance Officer

GSCOP does NOT cover the below:

  • Price setting
  • Domestic meat vs. imports
  • Interactions not between retailer and direct supplier
  • Food safety and labelling / horsemeat
  • Pay and conditions of agricultural workers
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