Campaigning to curb supermarket power

Supermarket Watchdog

In June 2013 Christine Tacon started in the new role of Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

The establishment of an independent pro-active supermarket watchdog is essential to monitor the new Groceries Supply Code of Practice and enforce the rules. The GCA will have the power to impose fines on supermarkets and undertake pro-active investigations.

Progress to date

2006- 2008- The UK Competition Commission, which spent 2 years investigating UK supermarkets, found clear evidence that supermarkets continue to mistreat their suppliers by passing on excessive risks and costs such as late or reduced payments or last-minute changes to orders. As well as a new Supermarket Code of Practice (GSCOP) it recommended the establishment of an Ombudsman to monitor and enforce the Code.

August 2010 - the Government announced the creation of a Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA)  in a bid to end the unfair treatment of farmers, suppliers and shoppers. The GCA will sit within the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), but will be independent. It will have the power to investigate complaints from UK and overseas suppliers about the way they are treated by supermarkets. 

May 2011 - the Government published the Draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill. Please read an article at, 8th July about the slow progress of the Bill.

October 2011 - the Government amended the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, incorporating some of the amendments proposed following a consultation but excluding some. Suppliers are concerned that the new adjudicator service will not be given the power to fine supermarkets from the outset. They say trade bodies will not be able to provide evidence of wrongdoing on behalf of suppliers, putting anonymity at risk.  Please see an article in the Daily Mail, 23rd October 2011.

May 2012 - A Bill to established the GCA was announced in the Queen's Speech.

16th July 2012 - The GCA Bill begins report stage, a further chance for line by line scrutiny. Report stage gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to examine and make changes, known as amendments, to a bill. Please click here for further information.

21st January 2013 - Christine Tacon is announced as the new Groceries Code Adjudicator. She will hold the post for four years.

25th June 2013 - Christine Tacon starts in her new role. Please see an article in the Guardian, 25th June 2013.