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 fourteen designated grocery retailers, including Asda, and governs our dealings with grocery Suppliers.
Every year we submit an Annual Compliance Report (“ACR”) to the Competition and Markets Authority (the “CMA”) and the Groceries Code Adjudicator (the “GCA”) to detail our compliance with the Code, any alleged breaches of the Code and any Disputes with Suppliers.
We delivered our twelfth report, covering the period from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022 (inclusive), to the CMA and the GCA on 26 April 2023.
Our Performance in 2022
2022 was another exceptionally challenging year for the grocery retail sector. We worked tirelessly to minimise the impact of rising costs on our customers, including launching our Just Essentials range and the Asda Rewards loyalty programme. These initiatives were only possible due to the strong, collaborative relationships we have built with our Suppliers.
Notwithstanding the difficult trading conditions, Asda is pleased with its performance in the GCA’s Annual Supplier Survey 2022. Of the 635 direct Suppliers who participated in the survey, 93% said we consistently or mostly follow the Code and only 4% raised an issue under the Code. We appreciate and value the feedback, using the results to inform improvements to our ways of working. Some of our highlights in 2022 include:
- revising our approach to reviewing cost price increase requests – our buyers now have the tools they need to review commodity data and can validate requests within shorter timescales;
- enhancing internal monitoring for De-lists and forensic auditing, which provides additional assurance that these activities are Code-compliant;
- Asda’s Code Compliance Officer (“CCO”) attending the GCA’s Supplier Conference in September 2022, supporting Supplier awareness and engagement with the Code;
- delivering training to 177 new and existing Buying colleagues, whose role touches and concerns the Code;
- a 28.5% reduction in the number of matters we are required to report to the GCA; and
- a 64% reduction in the average time taken to resolve matters we are required to report to the GCA.
20 reportable matters were raised in 2022. In line with the GCA feedback, we define all matters to be ‘on-going’ where it is unresolved by 31 December 2022. Five matters will be carried over to the next reporting period (1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023 (inclusive)).
Of the 20 matters raised in 2022, four matters related to each of the following categories: De-listing, forensic auditing, making changes to Supply Agreements, and Asda’s logistics activities.
Asda’s Code Compliance Officer
We are committed to trading with our Suppliers fairly, in good faith and without duress. We are proud of the strong, collaborative relationships that we have built with our Suppliers but accept that there is always room for improvement. With that in mind Asda’s CCO, Graeme Morrison, encourages open and honest feedback with respect to our performance under the Code. You can contact Graeme at AsdaCCO@asda.co.uk. Any Code-related concern will be treated confidentially, and Suppliers will not face negative consequences as a result of raising an issue.
Date: 26 April 2023