Adjudicator calls for frank views on supermarket practice

The groceries code adjudicator <GCA) has urged farmers to grasp an opportunity to speak out over their experiences of dealing with retailers.

Launching the annual groceries sector survey, adjudicator Christine Tacon stressed the importance of farmer views and urged a repeat of last year’s strong response from the agricultural sector.

See also: Supermarket treatment of suppliers – the good, bad and ugly

“The fifth annual survey allows you to give honest feedback on your experience of how retailers are complying with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice [GSCOP],” Ms Tacon said.

“It highlights concerns facing suppliers and allows me to collect the most comprehensive set of views on the current GSCOP-related issues,” she explained.

The survey results are used by the GCA as a tool in her quarterly discussions with the top 10 retailers.
And Ms Tacon added that it was “very important to be frank” when completing the survey because the responses would help determine where to focus her attention.

The survey closes on 22 April 2018 and the results will be published at the GCA annual conference on 25 June in Westminster, London.

Last year’s survey, which drew a record 1,200 response from direct suppliers, showed a general improvement in reported issues.

But suppliers still spoke of serious transgressions in their responses.

Four typical responses from the survey in 2017 

  1. “We do not receive good forecasts nor are we informed of promotions in time, which means we have no time to reach sudden increased demand.”
  2. “I am now seeing retailers trying to claw back money from suppliers in different ways– for example, if we are late with a delivery, fines are higher and more stringent, but this varies by retailer.”
  3. “Forecasting of stock – huge swings in demanded volumes and little, if any, responsibility from the retailer for the excess stock left behind.”
  4. “Delist without full explanation. In fact, we only received an email and were not given an explanation despite repeated questions.”
Complete the groceries sector survey.  It should take no more than 10 minutes.
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