What is the role of GSCOP Code Compliance Officers?

24 October 2022

An image of a woman and toddler in a supermarket

The GSCOP (Groceries Supply Code of Practice) is adjudicated by the GCA (Groceries Code Adjudicator), an independent office ensuring all 14 retailers are code compliant.

Aldi, Asda, B&M, Co-Op, Home Bargains, Iceland, Lidl, M&S, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Amazon all legally have to comply with GSCOP rules and, by law, must appoint a suitably qualified employee as their Code Compliance Officer (CCO) who must be independent and not managed by any member of the buying team.

The CCO is a point of contact for suppliers to discuss any GSCOP related matters as well as the GCA.

The GCA holds meetings with each individual CCO on a quarterly basis and will meet all CCOs as a group in six-month intervals to update them on the work of the Adjudicator.

Find out more: Check the list of compliance officers and their contact details

What is the Groceries Supply Code of Practice?

The GSCOP or “the Code”, is a detailed code of practice for how regulated retailers are expected to fairly and lawfully manage direct supplier relationships.

It essentially stops malpractice from buyer power and only regulates the link between the retailer and their direct supplier.

The NFU see GSCOP and the GCA role as a huge success in changing the culture and behaviour of the top 14 retailers. Members frequently tell us that since the GCA’s first establishment in 2013, retailers are now more open and transparent in their day-to-day dealings with direct suppliers.

Confidentiality

The CCO must treat any discussion held with a supplier in the strictest of confidence.

It will be for the supplier, and the supplier alone, to determine whether the CCO may disclose any details about the subject matter of their Code related discussion within their designated retailer.

It is important to remember the role of the CCO is completely independent and not managed by any members of the buying team. They are there simply to tackle any issues relating to breaches of the GSCOP.

It is really important suppliers have the confidence to report issues to CCO’s to ensure problems are identified at the earliest opportunity.

More information

All retailers have a supplier helpline or similar dedicated point of contact for supplier queries, including about invoices and payments. The GCA has published all the supplier helplines and their contact details on its website.


 

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