Farmers that supply retailers either directly or indirectly are being asked to share their experiences anonymously in the groceries code adjudicator’s (GCA) annual survey.
The GCA is seeking feedback from suppliers, processors and others such as trade associations, on how well supermarkets have stuck to the groceries code of practice in the past 12 months.
It also asks for views on how much progress the GCA has made in tackling supply-chain abuses.
The feedback is being collected by YouGov and will be kept completely anonymous if respondents so wish, even from the adjudicator.
Supplier views will set agenda
Christine Tacon, the current GCA, said: “This survey gives me important feedback on the code-related challenges that you’re facing in the groceries sector and more importantly helps shape my work for the following year and get my priorities right.
“I hear from suppliers, as I travel round, so I do have a fair idea about what is going on, but this annual survey is terribly important to hear from a wide range of people, many of whom I won’t get an opportunity to meet.
“I am keen to have a high level of response to make sure I get robust data that will help set the strategy for next year.”
Ms Tacon said people could have “total confidence” their identity would be protected, but added there was an option within the survey for people who wanted her to be able to see their responses.
Respondents can fill in the survey individually or submit feedback as a company or organisation, as responses will be weighed accordingly.
What is the groceries code?
Ms Tacon urged suppliers to make sure they understood the code and what it covered before completing the survey, as feedback was needed about possible code breaches.
The groceries code covers the 10 biggest UK retailers: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, The Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland.
It sets out how supermarkets should legally behave when dealing with their direct suppliers. It does not cover the price negotiated between a supplier and retailer, but does cover price where contracts have not been honoured.
Ms Tacon invited respondents to the GCA’s annual conference, to be held on 22 June in Westminster, where the results of the survey would be announced. These will also be made available on the GCA’s website.
The survey closes on 1 May 2015.