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The myth, the legend, the groceries code adjudicator

24 May 2011

Almost two years after the Competition Commission published its final version of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) it appears that the tiger may finally be getting some teeth. But not yet.

A Bill introducing legislation to establish the GCA (a body to adjudicate on the application of the rules) is imminent – but the cumbersome legislative process still means the GCA will not be in place until 2013.

This matters because GSCOP was actually brought into force in February 2010. The GSCOP is a means of balancing power between suppliers and the 10 largest grocers but with no enforcement authority it inevitably loses impact.

Although, some supermarkets are making a virtue of compliance others are not. Some suppliers are aware of the GSCOP, others are not. Those who comply need to be endorsed and those who do not need to see real benefits from compliance. Until the GCA is established both business and consumers await a GSCOP with bite.

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