Groceries Code Adjudicator damned by its own statistics

Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, today condemned the office of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) after its own report shows how little confidence suppliers have in it.

The report states:

  • Less than half of suppliers would raise an issue with the GCA.
  • Nearly three quarters of suppliers who refused to raise an issue with the GCA said that they wouldn’t due to fear of retribution from the supermarkets.

Alyn said:

“I have said before that the current regulatory framework means that the GCA is a toothless waste of space and now they have condemned themselves. I suppose at least they are gathering statistics that prove how little credibility they have amongst the very people they supposedly serve.

“The survey simply shows how far we still have to go. The fact the GCA claim that these figures justify their approach is laughable.

“Yes there has been minor progress, for example that the number of suppliers reporting issues to the GCA has dropped by 9%, but when a remarkable 70% are still complaining it is not the time for self-congratulation.

“More must be done to help the farmers and other suppliers who are in desperate need. Tesco is by far the largest supermarket and over half of all complaints were about them. Indeed, Tesco acknowledged their failings in their own annual report but we need to see concrete action, not warm words.

“The UK Government must live up to its responsibilities and protect Scottish farming from the supermarkets. Either we give this expensive toothless organisation power or shut it down and give the competition commission authority to deal with this situation so at least we’re not duplicating total inaction.”

Alyn’s speech in the European Parliament condemning the GCA can be found here:

The GCA survey results are available here.

Tesco PLC Annual report (GCA comments on p. 71) are available here.

Some of Alyn’s previous work on problems in the supply chain can be found here:

Unfair supply chain: UK Government’s complacency will result in job losses

Groceries Code Adjudicator fails to help Scottish suppliers

Alyn slams UK dairy complacency: “we need short term relief and long term structural measures to fix a broken market”

Tesco might be the tip of the iceberg