GCA reports on progress at industry dinner

The Government’s Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), Christine Tacon, was guest speaker at a recent food sector dinner in Huntingdon. Around 40 senior executives gathered to hear her give a report on her progress over the last 12 months and outline her plans for the future.

The dinner was co-hosted by Roythornes Solicitors, MorePeople Recruitment and Barclays Corporate Banking team and MorePeople.

The position of Groceries Code Adjudicator was established in 2013 to bring some order to the relationship between the major supermarkets and their direct suppliers. Over the last few weeks she has had a high profile in the media as revelations about supermarket practices have come to light. It’s also been confirmed recently that she will be been given the powers to fine supermarkets up to 1 per cent of their turnover for serious breaches of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

Peter Bennett, Head of Roythornes Food and Drink team said: “The fact that there were so many senior level people from the food sector in the room shows how important the relationship is between suppliers and the supermarkets and how Christine’s role is developing.”

Peter Hunt from MorePeople said: “It was a very good evening. Christine has a very important role in one of the largest sectors of our economy and for our clients to get to hear directly her views on how her role has been developing over her first year was informative and enlightening.”

Steve Brown from Barclays Corporate said: “The appointment of the Adjudicator is a positive step forward into introducing more transparency into the supplier / retailer relationship.”

In the discussion after the dinner, Christine emphasised the need for suppliers to come forward with their concerns without the fear of reprisals from retailers. Later this year she plans to undertake a major survey amongst the UK’s 8,000 supermarket suppliers and encouraged those in the room to share their views.