I have today launched the statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).
The GCA was established by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013 (“the Act”). Its role is to monitor and enforce the groceries supply code of practice (“the code”), which the UK’s designated large grocery retailers must comply with when dealing with their direct suppliers.
Section 15 of the Act requires the Government to review periodically the performance of the GCA. The first review carried out in 2016 covered the period from the creation of the GCA (in June 2013) to 31 March 2016. The second review will cover the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019.
The primary purpose of the review is to look back over the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019 and to seek views and evidence which will allow the Government to make an assessment of the performance of the GCA against the measures set out in the Act. These measures are explained in the terms of reference. The statutory review is not a review of the code or the remit of the GCA. The code is a competition measure owned by the Competition and Markets Authority as the UK’s independent competition authority.
The Act requires us to consult the following:
the Competition and Markets Authority;
the retailers subject to the code;
one or more persons representing the interests of suppliers;
one or more persons representing the interests of consumers; and
any other appropriate person.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/groceries-code-adjudicator-statutory-review-2016-to-2019. Stakeholders have until 12 September 2019 to respond. Following this, BEIS will analyse the responses. A report on the findings will then be published and laid before Parliament.
The Terms of Reference for the GCA Review have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.