British Brands Group is organising a series of training courses to educate suppliers on the Groceries Supply Code of Practice and the role of the Adjudicator.

The trade association has four events planned for 2014, starting off in Windsor on 25 March and Doncaster on 27 March. Later in the year, it will run two further sessions, on 23 September in Windsor and 25 September in Doncaster.

The courses are open to any direct supplier to the supermarkets.

British Brands Group said the aim was to educate suppliers on what is and is not covered by GSCOP, the role of Adjudicator and the implications of the code for trading relationships.

The organisation is also running an in-house version of the course for larger suppliers.

Designed for sales personnel as well as regulatory and support staff, the course would help suppliers fully understand the code, it said.

“With retailers required to train their buying teams, it is so important suppliers are equally well-versed in the code and how to use it,” said British Brands Group director John Noble, adding that it had the potential to make contracts more robust and place trading negotiations on a fairer footing.

As of the end of December last year, Adjudicator Christine Tacon has the power to launch formal investigations into abuses of the code. She will also have the power to fine retailers, but business secretary Vince Cable first has to agree a maximum fine. Tacon has proposed a limit of 1% of UK turnover.