The House of Lords EU Committee will this week take evidence from Christine Tacon, Groceries Code Adjudicator, in a one-off session on food waste.
Established by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013, the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) is an independent statutory office, and is responsible for enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) amongst certain designated retailers. The GCA can investigate confidential complaints, make recommendations to retailers, require retailers to publish details of a breach of the GSCOP, arbitrate disputes, and in the most serious cases, impose a fine. The GCA’s role is due to be reviewed in 2016 by its parent department, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
At the National Farmers' Union Conference in February 2015, the new Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan said the following:
“All players in the food chain should realise that it is imperative that producers get a decent return for their raw material. Without producers none of the downstream businesses would even exist. I am following closely the latest developments in the UK and the new powers given to the Groceries Adjudicator to enforce its Code. It is of interest to all of us.”
The Sub-Committee heard from The GCA, Ms Christine Tacon in December 2014 in an oral evidence session as part of its Food Waste Inquiry and this evidence session provides an opportunity to follow-up on some of the issues raised in that discussion.
Wednesday 11 March, Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster
- Christine Tacon, Groceries Code Adjudicator
The Committee will question Ms Tacon on a range of issues. Questions may include:
- The Government has now granted the GCA the power to impose a fine on certain retailers that breach the GSCOP. Does the GCA intend to use this power?
- The new fining power is not retrospective. To what extent has this fact frustrated the work of the GCA to date?
- The Commons EFRA Committee has received evidence calling for the GCA's remit to be extended to cover relationships throughout the entire supply chain. Does the GCA support such a call for change?
- What progress has been made in the last year on an EU-wide Adjudicator and an EU-wide binding code?
- Are designated retailers honouring their obligation to inform their direct suppliers of the work of the GCA?
- How will the GCA make use of the additional money which has been granted by the Government for the next year?