Groceries Code Adjudicator
The GCA (Christine Tacon) and members of her team met with the CCOs and other representatives from the regulated retailers.
There was an update on any issues arising from the previous set of minutes.
The GCA has issued a response to the original 10 designated retailers who took part in this exercise and passed on some general messages to the three more recently designated retailers. Retailers shared with the GCA what they had learnt from this exercise and any changes to their processes as a result. The GCA does not require any further information from retailers and advised the issue was closed.
The GCA thanked CCOs for their responses to her follow-up letter in December 2019. The GCA will review the responses and write to any retailers again where she would like any further information. The GCA reiterated that retailers should be taking a proactive approach to compliance risk management so that it is embedded at all levels in their business, and is reflected consistently in its governance; legal, compliance and audit functions; internal systems and processes; training on the Code and communication with suppliers. The GCA encouraged retailers to continue to consider how they are able quickly and effectively to spot any issues relevant to the Code and to resolve them, learning lessons across the organisation where appropriate. The GCA now intends to send a closing letter to retailers.
The GCA thanked CCOs for their responses to her request for information on each retailers involvement in buying alliances of different types and how they might be considered from a Code compliance perspective. The GCA explained she does not intend to have any further direct engagement with retailers in this area but it is important for each retailer actively to continue to manage its Code compliance risk in this area.
The GCA discussed any issues covered in the retailers progress report to the GCA.
The GCA highlighted any issues being raised by direct suppliers specific to a particular retailer or issues which the GCA wanted to raise with all retailers.
The GCA reported that on 15 January she published her view on the progress made by Co-op towards following the recommendations set out following her investigation.
The GCA launched the annual survey on 4 February 2020. Retailers were asked to publicise the survey to their suppliers.
The GCA set out next steps for the annual levy for 2020/21.
The GCA had written to all retailers audit committee chairs, or equivalent, setting out feedback in advance of the next round of ACRs. The GCA provided an opportunity for all retailers to ask any questions about this.
The GCA highlighted activities she had undertaken to raise awareness of her role and the Code.