The Groceries (Supply Chain Practices) Market Investigation Order 2009 (the “Order”) has been in force since 4 February 2010.
The Order implemented the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the “Code”) which applies to certain grocery retailers, including us – Asda – in our dealings with suppliers.
As part of our compliance with this Order, we’re required to submit an annual compliance report to the Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) and the Groceries Code Adjudicator (“GCA”) to detail our compliance with the Code, any alleged breaches of the Code and any disputes with suppliers. We’re also required to post this notice on our website.
We have delivered our sixth report, covering the period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016, to the CMA and the GCA on 30 April 2017.
During the reporting period, we took several steps to achieve compliance. These steps included:
- A wide-ranging internal review of our practices in order to establish stronger standards and controls throughout GSCOP processes. For example, reaffirming the process that must be followed in respect of delists.
- A revamped training and communications plan, including refreshed online and face-to-face training. Comprehensive training on the Code was provided to all members of our buying team and a number of finance colleagues, involving face-to-face training for all new buying colleagues and an annual refresher course via computer based learning. We are also in the process of developing new and improved category-specific training.
- Leadership communications from our CEO and CCO reaffirming our open door policy and encouraging suppliers to provide open and honest feedback where you feel we have not got things right.
We received 31 alleged breaches of the Code during the reporting period. We’re pleased to say that because, in our view, of the effective way that we work with suppliers to deal with their concerns, we closed out the majority of issues to the satisfaction of the relevant suppliers and there was only one instance of a supplier formally escalating a dispute to Asda’s Code Compliance Officer in 2016. No matters were referred to arbitration (as set out in Article 11 of the Order) during the reporting year.
Compliance with the Order and Code is extremely important to Asda, and we will continue to take steps to achieve compliance to the fullest degree.
If you would like to find out more about the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, you can do so here.