New groceries referee

New groceries referee

The appointment of former Co-operative farms managing director Christine Tacon as the first Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has been welcomed by the NFU as an important step in the battle to ensure fairness across the supply chain.

Ms Tacon will be responsible for enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), which regulates interactions between the ten largest supermarkets with an annual turnover of over £1billion and their direct suppliers.

NFU head of food and farming Phil Hudson said: “This is an important step forward and will reassure farmers that progress continues to be made to introduce an adjudicator that will have the necessary ‘teeth’ to curb the abuses of power that can undermine farmers and the supply chain, with implications for consumers.”

NFU Scotland’s food chain relationships manager, Wendy Fleming said: “Christine Tacon’s appointment as Grocery Code Adjudicator is very welcome, and should mean the start of a new relationship between all those involved in the food supply chain. Her time at the helm of the Co-operative’s farming enterprise means she is equipped with an unusual set of combined farming and retail experience.

“For our members, many of whom are struggling in the face of difficult farming conditions, rising input costs and poor market returns, this will not lead overnight to an improvement in their income. However, it should mean that we move towards a healthier culture of competition between major retailers where rivalry for custom is based on offering a wide variety of goods at a price which is acceptable to all in the supply chain.

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