I am delighted to announce that earlier this week I published my 2021-22 annual report.
It is the ninth annual report published by the GCA and covers one of the most turbulent years across all the reports. As you will no doubt be aware, inflation has forced suppliers to make a rising number of requests for cost price increases (CPI) from Retailers. Responses from Retailers, operating in a highly competitive industry, have strained relationships with suppliers and weakened bonds that grew as the entire industry responded to Covid and the related shortages.
In the annual report, I discuss my 7 Golden Rules, published in response to this issue. The rules are based on best practice behaviour I have seen from Retailers and help to ensure suppliers are treated fairly during difficult negotiations.
Other issues covered in the report include shortages across supply chains including HGV drivers, ingredients and packaging. I also heard from suppliers about inexperienced buyers and the impact on their relationships with Retailers. I discuss how I responded to these issues in the report.
You can also find in the annual report detailed information about the operation of the GCA, including my collaborative approach to working with Retailers and my strategic objectives. It also includes the GCA’s statutory reporting requirements, a corporate governance report and an update on the GCA’s financial position.
The GCA conference 2022: “The Code for a changing world” will take place virtually on 28 September, between 9:30am and 1pm (BST). I’m delighted that hundreds of suppliers across 20 countries have already registered to attend. I look forward to discussing challenges the grocery sector is facing and support available to suppliers with trade association representatives, Retailers and other experts. In the afternoon, suppliers also have the opportunity to hold one-to-one meetings with me and each of the Code Compliance Officers. The meeting booking system is now open.
The conference is free to attend.
To join the hundreds of other suppliers at the conference, register now.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is conducting its third statutory review of the GCA. BEIS is seeking views and evidence which will allow the government to assess the GCA’s performance against the measures set out in the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013.
To do this, BEIS is asking a range of questions including on the GCA’s impact on the groceries market and effectiveness in enforcing the Code. There are also questions on transferring the GCA’s functions to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) or another public body.
BEIS is seeking views from a wide range of stakeholders including the Retailers subject to the Code, one or more persons representing the interest of suppliers, one or more persons representing the interests of consumers and any other interested person or party.
The consultation closes on 11 October 2022. Find out more and respond to the consultation.
Working with Amazon
Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) was designated on 1 March 2022 by the Competition and Markets Authority, and I have engaged promptly with the company to ensure it moves quickly to ensure compliance. Through my early engagement with Amazon, the 7 Golden Rules for CPIs have been incorporated into their internal guidance for the grocery buying teams.
I will continue to work with Amazon and I am delighted that Alex will be joining one of the panels at my annual conference.
Before that, you can see Alex talk about his work at Amazon.
Before that, you can hear Alex talk about his work at Amazon here..
If you are an Amazon Vendor supplying groceries for sale in the UK and have any concerns about Amazon’s compliance with the Code, please do get in touch with Alex or with me.