Survey into retailer-supplier relationships opens

The annual Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) survey has opened and is seeking the views of UK fresh produce suppliers in order to improve retailer trading practices.

Conducted by YouGov, the research will examine how the UK’s major retailers have complied with the Groceries Supply Code of Practise (GSCoP) over the last 12-months.

See also: Retailer Watch: Which supermarket treats suppliers the best?

For the first time retailers Ocado and B&M will be included in the survey, the sixth carried out by the adjudicator, Christine Tacon.

Common issues highlighted by the survey in previous years include payment delays, variation of supply agreements, unjustified charges and de-listing issues.

Suppliers can complete the survey on the YouGov website. It should take no more than 15 minutes.

Each retailer is assessed for how well they have worked with suppliers and have negative practices examined.

The 2018 survey saw Aldi take the top spot for best supplier relations for the second year running, while Asda, the Co-op and Iceland took the bottom three spots.

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In the event of serious breaches of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, the GCA will investigate retailers, having previously examined the practices of Tesco in 2014 and more recently the Co-op in 2018.

Tesco was given a number of recommendations to improve practices by the GCA, including improving transparency in its buyer relations and paying suppliers according to the terms agreed, which it had not been doing previously.

The Co-op investigation is still ongoing, but with new powers to fine retailers that breach the rules, the supermarket could be forced to pay a fine of up to 1% of its annual turnover.

Based on 2016 figures, this could leave the retailer’s food arm with a £71m fine.

Anonymous survey

Information provided to the GCA survey is done so anonymously and respondents will not be identified without prior consent.

The survey closes on 23 April, with the results set to be published on 24 June at the GCA Annual Conference in Westminster.