10th Jul


TFA Media Release 17/18 – Brexit Makes Role Extension for Groceries Code Adjudicator Even More Vital

Brexit Makes Role Extension for Groceries Code Adjudicator Even More Vital

The Tenant Farmers Association is calling for the Government to take action to broaden and deepen the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to ensure fair trading practices become fully embedded throughout the grocery supply chain.

In 2008 the Competition Commission identified a number of imbalanced trading practices within the grocery supply chain which were unfairly benefiting retailers leading to the creation of the Groceries Code Adjudicator. However the Adjudicator has responsibility only for direct contracts between retailers and suppliers, leaving indirect suppliers and primary producers exposed to continuing unfair practices further up the supply chain.

TFA North East Regional Chairman Stephen Wyrill said “The TFA was a lone voice in the 1990s when it called for a retail ombudsman with teeth. It took until 2013 for the Government to respond to the problem by creating the current Adjudicator and having made a good start, more needs to be done to extend the adjudicator’s role to cover unprotected parts of the supply chain.”

“In the context of Brexit it is vital that we ensure that the groceries market is operating as efficiently as possible and given the clear evidence of the market failure which currently exists, it is time for the government to put in place the necessary measures to extend the remit of the Adjudicator at this time,” said Mr Wyrill.

The TFA believes that three changes should be made to the Adjudicator’s remit. Firstly that the Adjudicator should have responsibility for ensuring fair trading practices within the whole of the supply chain from primary producer through to the retailer. Secondly the TFA believes that the Adjudicator should be given the powers to conduct spot checks on retailers without notice. Thirdly TFA would like to see further work done on mandatory price reporting including how the retail price is shared between retailers, processors and primary producers.

“These changes are practical, proportionate and necessary. A Government consultation on an extension to the remit of the Adjudicator ended in January and since then we have heard nothing from the Government about what it intends to do. Some of the biggest impacts of Brexit will hit the food supply chain and we must therefore ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible, ensuring fair returns for everyone and this can only be achieved by enhanced regulation,” said Mr Wyrill.

Ref: MR 17/18 Date: 10 July 2017

Notes for Editors:

Stephen Wyrill will be available for interview on the TFA stand at the Great Yorkshire Show near Harrogate (stand 713, on the corner of Avenue G and Main Avenue) between 11 and 13 July.

Stephen will also be holding a press conference to provide further detail in the media centre at the Great Yorkshire Show at 10 AM on Tuesday 11 July.

For further information contact Harley Coles, TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157.

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