Feedback’s Comment on the Review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator

24th Jul 17 by Christina O'Sullivan

Feedback is pleased the government recognises the important role of the GCA. We also welcome the review’s recognition that the there is more to do on awareness raising of the GCA among food suppliers.

We remain concerned that a climate of fear persists across the supply chain. The review recognises “a reluctance on the part of suppliers to report breaches of the Code for fear of the commercial consequences, and in particular of de-listing.” From our research with suppliers, importers and other players in the global food market, we know that this fear is a real concern and  may prevent many from taking action against unfair trading practices. The suggestion that action to “make it clear to large retailers that adverse commercial consequences in response to a supplier reporting a potential breach of the Code are totally unacceptable” does not go far enough to prevent unfair trading practices. We urge the government to monitor this issue closely and take practical steps to help suppliers come forward and address power imbalances within the supply chain.

Together with the Groceries Code Adjudicator Action Network, we have consistently called for the remit of the GCA to be expanded to protect indirect suppliers. This review did not consider expanding the remit; however we remain hopeful that in responding to a Call for Evidence on an expanded remit, the government will take seriously the issues small, overseas and indirect suppliers face in dealing with major retailers and the consequences for unfair trading and for food waste.

Read more on why the remit of the GCA needs to be expanded here.

View the statutory review of the GCA here.

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