Ulster Farmer's Union responds to third statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator
The Ulster Farmers’ Union has submitted its response to the third statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator.
Undertaken by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, it covers the period 1 April 2019 - 31 March 2022, seeking views to allow government to assess how effective the GCA has been in enforcing the code and whether it has performed its statutory obligations.
UFU president, David Brown, said they welcomed the review into the workings of the GCA.
"The UFU believe the GCA performs an essential role in a modern, sustainable and competitive grocery market in the UK,” he added.
“Against a challenging economic backdrop with rising inflation, supply chain relationships are under pressure heightening the value of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP). To dilute or weaken the role of the adjudicator puts both consumers and suppliers at risk, but it would also wear down our national food resilience at a time the sector is highly vulnerable.”
Since its creation in 2013, the GCA has continued to improve the trading behaviour of regulated retailers. Supported by the fact that suppliers experiencing any code-related issues has decreased year on year from 2014 – 2021.
“The UFU is strongly of the view that transferring the GCA’s functions into another public body such as the CMA or removing the GCA altogether, would be hugely damaging for the groceries sector and ultimately, the end consumer. Having a dedicated adjudicator with specific powers has proven vital in adding power and gravitas to the role and as a result, has driven noticeable change,” Mr Brown concluded.