6 February 2015 – UK groceries code adjudicator investigates Tesco

The new UK groceries code adjudicator announced yesterday that her first formal investigation will be into Tesco’s treatment of its suppliers because there was ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the supermarket had breached the new code.The adjudicator Christine Tacon said: “I have reasonable suspicion that Tesco breached the code in two areas. One is reasonable payments and second is payments for better positions on shelf outside promotions.”

As the adjudicator is set to be handed further powers to impose penalties on large retailers of up to 1% of their annual UK turnover, Graeme Willis from the Campaign to Protect Rural England in a letter to The Guardian (6 February), notes that whatever the outcome for Tesco, the threat will force all major retailers to review their dealings with suppliers and ensure they are in order. He suggests that when any fines are imposed, they should go towards ‘a dedicated fund’ to support the growth of local food supply chains and SMEs, thereby providing a boost to the rural economy and countering some of the effects of supermarket expansion. It will be interesting to see what does happen.
You can read more background here.

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