Business Committee writes to supermarkets on payment practices

23 May 2019

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has written to six grocery retailers to ask why they are not signatories to the Prompt Payment Code (PPC), a voluntary code which sets standards for payment practices. Only half of the 12 regulated grocery retailers in the UK are listed as signatories to the PPC.

The letters have been sent to the following retailers (click on names for links to correspondence): William Morrison Supermarkets plc (PDF PDF 52 KB)Aldi Stores Limited (PDF PDF 53 KB)Iceland Foods Limited (PDF PDF 51 KB)Lidl UK GmbH (PDF PDF 55 KB)Ocado Group plc (PDF PDF 54 KB)B&M European Value Retail S.A (PDF PDF 55 KB).

The correspondence follows a recent BEIS Committee evidence hearing (on 14th May) with Christine Tacon CBE, the Groceries Code Adjudicator which picked up on a range of issues relating to the remit of the GCA, including around the treatment of suppliers and concerns around late payments and poor payment practices.  

The Prompt Payment Code website lists 6 of the 12 regulated retailers, covered by the GCA, as having signed up to the Prompt Payment Code: ASDA, Co-op, M&S, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose (as John Lewis). 

In 2018, the BEIS Committee, in its Small businesses and productivity Report, recommended that “the Government moves as soon as possible to require all medium and large companies to sign the Prompt Payment Code and quickly adopts a statutory limit of paying within 30 days”. 

In the 2017-18 Annual Report, the Groceries Code Adjudicator noted that: “Delay in payments remained the number one concern highlighted by suppliers in the 2017 survey and continued to be an issue widely reported directly to the GCA by suppliers”. 

Further information

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