The European Commission is investigating the possibility of adopting the principles of the Groceries Codes Adjudicator (GCA) on a pan-European scale.

Speaking to The Grocer this week at the NFU conference, European Commissioner for agriculture Phil Hogan said he was watching the GCA “very closely” to see if it could work in a wider context. “The reducing of margin to the producer is an issue of concern right across the EU, not just in the UK,” he said. “We are watching what happens with the GCA’s new powers.”

With the GCA now able to fine retailers, Hogan warned the sector should be “very conscious of ensuring producers stay in business”.

Referring to the dairy crisis, he added low retail prices for milk smacked of “short-termism” with milk unlikely to have a “major impact on the percentage of business they get arising from these decisions”.

With UK environment secretary Liz Truss stating at the conference the government was looking into extending the GCA’s remit further down the supply chain, Hogan said voluntary codes, such as the one currently employed in the dairy industry, had “failed”.