Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon has admitted in a new video for suppliers that she is “shocked” by their lack of knowledge and is urging them to seek training in GSCOP.
The new YouTube appeal stresses that fewer than one in three suppliers have had training in the code, or fewer than one in 10 when it comes to small suppliers.
“I often go to speak to groups of suppliers and am shocked by people who actually want me to teach them about the code, because what I want to do is to update them about the various issues,” she said.
“The code has been in place for over five years and me for two years. There is really no excuse why suppliers haven’t got to grips with it.”
“My video is designed to reach a wide audience with this important message about how training can help make suppliers more confident in their dealings with buyers,” she told The Grocer.
The appeal comes a day after Tacon held a conference with suppliers to discuss claims that supermarkets have been hitting them with exorbitant costs for packaging changes.
Tacon said she had received many reports of suppliers being hit with costly requirements for packing by retailers and wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on.
It is the first workshop the GCA has organised on a reported practice and attracted a large audience of suppliers.
In the GCA survey 30% of suppliers said the cost of packaging and design was an issue compared to 24% in 2014.
Yesterday Tacon was given examples of suppliers’ dealings with retailers, with issues relating to artwork and design on packaging, including over-regular redesigns being experienced by some suppliers.
Tacon told suppliers she would be carefully reviewing the issues before announcing next steps.