Monday 28th Sep 2020 - Logistics & Supply Chain

Tesco under pressure to review behaviour towards suppliers

ChristineTaconGroceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon has called on Tesco to examine its behaviour towards suppliers as part of the internal review which was announced by the retailer last month.

In a keynote speech to a groceries sector audience the Adjudicator said she had talked to the large retailer following the announcement it had made last week.

“I have requested that compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice is included in the scope of the internal investigation and I have asked to be notified if Tesco starts to find practices which might breach the code,” she said in speech to a groceries sector audience in Birmingham.

“The GCA will take a decision on next steps based on the evidence.”

During her speech, Tacon set out progress on forensic auditing following the June announcement that eight out of ten large retailers covered by the code had agreed a voluntary commitment to time limit such audits to two years.

“I have asked all the retailers to inform their suppliers in October about their forensic auditing policies.”

She said it was vital suppliers brought her hard evidence – such as financial and contractual documentation and notes of conversations – to help her perform her role effectively and she assured them their identities would be protected.

“I don’t want to interfere in your commercial relationships with retailers but if you know of a practice that is not only affecting you but is also likely to affect others isn’t that a justification to tell me so that I can take action? Give me the tools and I can do the job.”

Tacon was appointed the first Groceries Code Adjudicator in 2013 to oversee the implementation of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice between the ten largest grocery retailers and their direct suppliers.

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