Who is the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA)

Statutory guidance on how the Groceries Code Adjudicator will carry out  investigation and enforcement functions

The Groceries Code Adjudicator is responsible for regulating the trading relationship between retailers and suppliers, ensuring retailers deal with suppliers fairly and lawfully. The current GCA is Mark White, he is responsible for encouraging, monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP). 


What is the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP)

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the Code) was introduced to tackle the previously unbalanced trading relationship between suppliers and retailers. Large retailers were passing on higher risks and costs to suppliers, creating issues in relation to payment, production and delivery. GSCOP is legislation that was introduced tackle this, ensuring suppliers are treated fairly, without distinction between formal or informal arrangements and without duress.

GSCOP only applies to designated retailers, currently including Aldi, Amazon, Asda, B&M, Co-operative, Iceland, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, TJ Morris and Waitrose.

GSCOP incentivises retailers to trade fairly and resolve any potential breaches of the Code as the Groceries Code Adjudicator has the power to enforce recommendations, investigate a GSCOP breach, award supplier compensation in arbitration disputes and fine retailers. For egregious breaches the GCA can fine up to 1% of total UK turnover. However, this is a last resort and the GCA has adopted a modern regulatory approach, working collaboratively with retailers to respond to issues raised by suppliers.

How to address potential code breaches

When a supplier believes a retailer may be in breach of the Code, suppliers are encouraged to raise the issue with the retailer's Code Compliance Officer (CCO) or write directly to the GCA. All information received by the GCA is treated confidentially and the GCA has a legal duty to preserve anonymity. CCOs are independent of a retailer’s buying team and can help to resolve Code-related issues suppliers are having. CCOs work as a point of contact for suppliers and liaise with the GCA to ensure their retailer upholds GSCOP and therefore will not face any legal repercussions. It is the duty of COOs to investigate all complaints and potential breaches and, like the GCA, discuss issues with suppliers in total confidence.

Why get training on the code

100% of buyers for the regulated retailers are trained in the Code every year, it’s the law. Knowing the Code allows suppliers to recognise when a retailer’s proposal may be breaching the Code and gives suppliers the tools to counter in a confident manner. With supplier training, suppliers can alert buyers to their own familiarity with the Code by utilising its language, helping to prevent or counter any potential retailer breaches and reduce the need for escalation - strengthening retailer relationships.


Supporting the GCA to shape retailer guidance and encourage best practice

Simply Supply Chain works closely with the GCA in support of their key priorities and raises awareness of retailer practices that can drive cost, waste and labour into the supply chain. Our supplier work groups present evidence to the GCA which helps shape supplier and retailer recommendations and guidance to tackle these practices and improve processes. Testament to the impact and effectiveness of our groups is our Good Faith Receiving programme, pioneered in partnership with the GCA to eliminate unsubstantiated payment deductions and reduce delays in payments. This award-winning programme has returned tens of millions of pounds to suppliers and retailer claims have now reduced been by 95%.


Our workgroups supporting key initiatives

Chilled FMCG Supplier  Work Groups
Good Faith Receiving
Goods Received Not Invoiced
Sales Forecasting & Promotions
Find out more
Ambient FMCG Supplier  Work Groups
Sales Forecasting & Promotions
Find out more

Contact Us

C: +44 (0)845 6522251

E:  info@simply-sc.com