Groceries Code Adjudicator statutory review – have your say

27 July 2022

Farm business Food supply chain
A close up picture of hands pushing a supermarket trolley

The GCA (Grocery Code Adjudicator) role is being reviewed by the BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy). We want to hear from you to help formulate our response to the consultation. 

The GCA is the UK’s first independent adjudicator to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers.

Established in 2013, its role is to make sure that retailers treat their direct suppliers lawfully and fairly by investigating suspected breaches of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) and arbitrating in disputes.

The government is required to review the role of the GCA every three years.

“The GCA is incredibly valuable to the food supply chain, holding retailers to account and allowing farmers and growers to highlight breaches of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice without fear of repercussion.”

NFU chief food business adviser Amy Fry

27 July 2022

BEIS launches consultation into the effectiveness of the GCA

The government is conducting its statutory review of the GCA between 2019 and 2022.

The consultation seeks views and evidence which will allow the government to make an assessment of the GCA’s performance against measures set out in the GCA Act. These include:

  • How the GCA’s powers have been exercised
  • How effective the GCA has been in enforcing the Code
  • Whether to amend or replace the permitted financial penalty powers
  • Whether there is a need to set out guidance for the GCA to consider when deciding to investigate a breach

The consultation closes on 11 October 2022.

Our concerns

In addition to the standard considerations, the government has included questions around the GCA’s role and whether there might be gains in efficiency and effectiveness in transferring the GCA functions to the Competitions Market Authority (CMA).

We have concerns around these questions and the potential removal of the GCA.

We lobbied hard for the establishment of the adjudicator role and we strongly support the vital work it does in improving trading relationships between suppliers and retailers.

At a time where farmers and growers are facing unprecedented levels of inflation and supply chain challenges the GCA’s role is more vital than ever.

Feed into our response

We will be submitting member views into the review and would like to hear from you about how effective the GCA has been in exercising its powers to regulate retailer buying behaviour.

Any feedback we get from members will remain confidential and will only be used to shape the NFU submission. No members will be identified in our response.

For more information, or to feed into our response, please email us at: [email protected]

You can also submit your own response to the consultation at: GOV.UK | Groceries Code Adjudicator: statutory review, 2019 to 2022

More information can be read in this member briefing: Groceries Code Adjudicator statutory review, 2019 to 2022

File downloads

food chain

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query our NFU CallFirst will contact you and, if appropriate, your question will be passed on to one of our policy teams.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Summary

  • The GCA is the UK’s first independent adjudicator to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers.
  • The government is required to review the role of the GCA every three years.
  • The NFU is concerned about the potential removal of the role.
  • The NFU was influential in the establishment of the adjudicator role and we strongly support the vital work it does in improving trading relationships between suppliers and retailers.