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NPA calls for Adjudicator remit to be extended

11th Jan 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The NPA has called for the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to be extended to cover the entire supply chain.

Christine TaconCurrently the groceries code (GSCOP), which Adjudicator Christine Tacon (pictured) oversees, covers only the 10 biggest UK retailers, with turnovers in excess of £1 billion.

In its response to the Government consultation on extending the GCA’s remit, the NPA stressed its desire to see the supply chain working more closely together, particularly when it comes to pricing transparency.

The document, which was endorsed by the NPA producer group at its latest meeting in London on Tuesday, calls for:

  • The remit of the GCA to be extended to cover processors, food manufacturing plants and food service companies
  • The GSCOP turnover bracket to be reduced to £500 million
  • An agreed code of practice for processors covering trading practices and including fall-back pricing positions should there be disagreement between contracted parties
  • A standardised approach to deductions in processing plants with a clear understanding of how the costs are derived
  • The GCA to able to receive evidence from primary producers anonymously

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies, who compiled the response following an internal consultation, said:

“We want to see much closer collaboration across the supply chain to ensure everyone is working towards the same goals.

“While the Adjudicator currently has influence over the relationship between retailers and processors, we would therefore like to see its remit extended to cover that important processor-producer relationship.

“This would give our members more confidence to challenge processors when they feel they are being treated unfairly and would bring about a fairer, more balanced and more transparent supply chain, giving producers the confidence to invest.”

NFU response 

In its response to the consultation, the NFU also calls for processor-primary producer relationship to be covered. Its key asks include:

  • A reduced turnover bracket of GSCOP to include more retailers, foodservice and food manufacturing businesses
  • The principles of voluntary code made compulsory and for the GCA to oversee these
  • The GCA to have the ability to take evidence of any breach from primary producers