Grocery regulator: ‘I am dependent on suppliers’

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The woman in charge of regulating the relationship between retailers and suppliers says she is “totally dependent” on food and drink firms telling her about unfair practices.

In this exclusive interview for FoodManufacture.co,uk, Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon urged suppliers to participate in a consultation that seeks to find out whether payments for better positioning of goods or expanded shelf-space are widespread within the industry.

Endorsing the practice

Tacon wanted to know whether suppliers endorsed the practice, and would like it to continue. She was particularly eager to hear from smaller suppliers, which she felt might be at a greater disadvantage.

The consultation is open for all manufacturers and trade organisations until September 19.

Meanwhile, Tacon claimed it was a “farce” that only a third of suppliers had been trained in the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

Understanding the code

She stressed the importance of suppliers understanding the code to protect them and be able to deal with retailers effectively.

Tacon said: “They are in a much stronger position if a retailer asks for something that they shouldn’t – because it is in breach of the code. As soon as you start using code-type language, the buyers will know that you know they shouldn’t be making that request.”

She offered advice on where to find training providers.

To find out more about Tacon’s successes nearly three years into the role, as well as her thoughts on whether her powers should be extended, and her concerns about Brexit – order your copy of the September issue of Food Manufacture magazine .

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