As part of the third statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will today publish a consultation seeking the views of stakeholders on the performance of the 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 covered the period from the creation of the GCA (in June 2013) to 31 March 2016 and the second review covered the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019.
The statutory review is not a review of the Code nor the remit of the GCA. The Code is a competition measure owned by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as the UK’s independent competition authority.
The third review will look back over the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022 and seek views and evidence which will allow the Secretary of State 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 first statutory review also considered whether the functions of the GCA should be transferred to another public body or be abolished and the Government is again seeking views on these questions as part of the third review, in particular whether the GCA should be transferred to the CMA.
The Act requires us to consult with the following:
- the GCA;
- 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 (we have not identified any specific person or persons here and welcome contributions from any interested person).
The invitation to submit comments and evidence can be accessed through the Gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/groceries-code-adjudicator-statutory-review-2019-to-2022 and stakeholders have until 11 October 2022 to respond. Following this, BEIS will analyse the responses. A report on our 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 of Parliament.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords