Groceries Code Adjudicator
Tell us about yourself and your path to becoming a Code Compliance Officer (CCO).
My path to becoming a CCO has been a very varied mix of different aspects of grocery retail. I have worked in sales and logistics operations, audit, property and financial accounting, as well as led the set-up of compliance systems when this became a business and industry priority. I was the appointed CCO for a different retailer before I joined Asda in 2017 as Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer. After having had time to learn the Asda way of working, the opportunity arose last year to take this position again, which I gladly accepted. Im originally from the Netherlands, and have an almost three year old and a two month old (both boys) to keep me busy outside of work!
What are the most challenging aspects of the CCO role?
A critical element of this position is to build and maintain good, open and direct relationships with the various business stakeholders in the wider organisation who all have a part to play. As CCO, you have to keep yourself informed not only of developments in the buying team and commercial initiatives, but it is crucial to have regular contacts to the supply chain, legal, audit, and finance functions as well. My dedicated GSCOP team in Compliance is also constantly in touch with internal stakeholders and doing a great job of keeping me up to speed. Successful Code compliance really is a cross-functional team effort, not just dependent on one position, but as CCO you have to get to know the details of what these stakeholders are working on.
What achievement as CCO are you most proud of?
As I mentioned, effective Code compliance is not a one-person accomplishment. I am proud to see how the various teams within Asda and IPL understand the importance of GSCOP, and how these teams as well as the Board continually drive the right culture and work together. At Asda we have made significant steps over the last few years to improve our ways of working with our supplier partners in a collaborative and transparent way, and we are encouraged to see this reflected in the latest annual GCA survey, but also know there is always more to do.
If you could change one thing about the groceries market, what would it be?
The way in which grocery retailers and their supply chain are continuing to meet the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19 has shown the industry at its best in its ability to make changes happen very quickly. I believe that the changes that are required for the future will be less driven by the groceries market itself, but much more by the permanent changes in consumer behaviours and demands, and new technologies will play a central role. It would be great to fast-forward the market in its entirety to become omni-channel with great consumer choice in a sustainable way.
What three things do you want to achieve in the next 12 months?
- After Covid, I would like to be able to meet our supplier partners in person at one of our Asda conferences again
- Implement opportunities to further simplify and automate our compliance processes
- Build up a strong and productive relationship with the new Adjudicator
Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of News from the Adjudicator?
I am always happiest when I am able to help resolve issues that our supplier partners to Asda or IPL may have experienced, by way of listening to their concern, getting the right stakeholders around the table and finding a mutual way forward. On those occasions, I really feel that the CCO position contributes to building trust within the supplier-retailer relationship. I encourage suppliers to contact me so that we can address the issue together and quickly! You can contact me at