Supermarket watchdog to hear supplier issues face-to-face

Suppliers to the top 10 UK supermarkets are being invited to a face-to-face surgery with the groceries code adjudicator (GCA) at her annual conference on 22 June.

The GCA, Christine Tacon, will be available to talk to suppliers who want to raise issues about how supermarkets have behaved in their trading with them.

There are a limited number of slots at the surgery – to ensure a place suppliers must book via the same online form used to register for the conference. The GCA team will then get in contact with details.

The conference is being held in London. To register and book a place, visit the GCA website or call 020 3738 6537.

Latest on supplier-retailer relations will be revealed

Results of a YouGov survey into supermarket buying practices will be announced and are likely to be the key focus of the event.

It will be the second such piece of research the GCA has commissioned and, as with last year, it is based on information given anonymously by suppliers.

Last year the survey revealed that 80% of suppliers who took part had faced problems dealing with retailers and that 58% cited fear of retribution as the main reason they wouldn’t submit evidence to the GCA. 

This year’s survey, two years after the GCA was brought in, will be hotly anticipated as a gauge of what difference the adjudicator has so far been able to make and how the pressure of the supermarket price wars has affected suppliers.

Ms Tacon said: “I am very much looking forward to this session.

“I meet many suppliers and others face to face during the year but the survey cannot be beaten for giving me a panoramic view of the relationship between retailers and their suppliers.

“For this second survey I am particularly looking for evidence of how retailer practices have changed over the past 12 months.”

Supermarket watchdog still needs your evidence

Suppliers can still take part in the survey, which close on 1 May. 

The GCA’s role and remit is to ensure the UK’s 10 biggest grocery retailers adhere to the Grocery Code of Practice, which sets out what they can and can’t do when dealing with their direct suppliers.

However, the remit, powers and budget of the GCA have come under criticism this year for failing to protect the majority of farmer-suppliers who are not covered by the code because they are indirect suppliers.

The fact that the GCA is legally prevented from looking for evidence has also been criticised.

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