GCA rules on Co-op GSCOP breaches

Tuesday 26th March 2019

The Co-op Group has been told it must overhaul its processes and pay £1.3million in costs after being found in breach of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon ordered the Group to introduce “major changes to its governance, systems and processes” following a year-long investigation into the retailer’s treatment of suppliers.

She ruled the Co-op Group had breached GSCOP on two counts; by failing to provide reasonable notice to suppliers of decisions to de-list products and by varying supply agreements unilaterally and without reasonable notice in the way it applied two specific charges.

Gordons’ partner Mark Jones is an expert on GSCOP and has been regularly featured in trade and national press commenting on the subject. He said: “The Co-op was the first retailer to be investigated by the GCA since she acquired the power to fine retailers for breaching GSCOP so, even if it is disappointed to learn it has breached the code of practice, the business is likely to be pleased it has not been fined. Still £1.3m in costs is a heavy price to pay.

“The positive for suppliers is that retailer compliance with GSCOP is likely to improve as a consequence of the investigation. We saw further training demand and greater retailer compliance with GSCOP following the GCA’s investigation into Tesco and we should see the same this time around.”

Read more about Mark’s thoughts on KamCity here.