mark white gca groceries code adjudicator

Groceries Code Adjudicator Mark White

Newly reappointed Groceries Code Adjudicator Mark White has been forced to shelve his upcoming report on supermarket behaviour because of the general election.

The Grocer understands the results of the annual YouGov survey, which were due to be published in the middle of June, will now not come out until the end of July at the earliest.

The delay is excpected to give a temporary reprieve for the likes of Amazon, whose behaviour will be in the spotlight after being added to the list of retailers policed by the code in March 2022.

Earlier this year, White held talks with the online giant after it was found to have demanded large lump sum payments from dozens of suppliers.

Amazon subsequently said its requests were a “mistake” and that it had contacted all the estimated 30 suppliers involved.

Amazon came bottom of last year’s YouGov survey with White in a later deep dive into the results, claiming supermarkets chose to conduct “warfare” with suppliers rather than take collaborative action to handle the flood of CPI requests from suppliers.

The more recent bust-up between Sainsbury’s and suppleirs, over demands for “huge” data fees, emerged after the date on which the survey closed to responses.  

Last week the government announced White would continue as adjudicator for a further three years when his current term ends on 30 October.

He replaced the original adjudicator Christine Tacon in October 2020.

“The groceries sector has overcome many challenges since my initial appointment in October 2020,” said White.

“The large retailers and their suppliers have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, to shortages of labour and raw materials, and to increases in input costs. 

“I’m pleased with the positive difference the GCA has made to the treatment of direct suppliers despite these challenges. My annual survey has shown over 90% of direct suppliers to most retailers believe the retailers consistently or mostly comply with the Code.

“The proportion of suppliers reporting a Code-related issue has dropped dramatically from 79% in 2014, shortly after the GCA was established, to 36% in 2023.”