Supermarket adjudicator slammed

The British Retail Consortium (BRC)has launched a fresh attack on Government attempts to set-up external regulation of supermarket dealings with suppliers.

Tesco

The BRC has slammed the coalition Government’s decision to appoint an adjudicator to enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP).

The Code came into force in February, two years after the Competition Commission recommended the measure, following a review of supermarkets’ dealings with suppliers.

A Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) will be appointed to work out of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Government announced this morning.

The appointment is seen as a watered down answer to the Competition Commission’s call for an Ombudsman following months of supermarket lobbying, although the extent of its powers have not yet been revealed.

However the BRC says it will become an “unecessary quango.”

BRC director general Stephen Robertson says, “An adjudicator will just add unnecessary costs. We fail to see why principles of better regulation don’t apply to grocery retailing, particularly when the additional costs will ultimately affect the prices customers pay.”

The GCA will need new legislation in order to be established. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says it will bring forward publication of a draft bill “later in the year.”

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