This morning (16 February) the Government rejected calls to extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) beyond the top 10 supermarkets.
Announcing the Government's response to a consultation on the process Minister for Small Business Andrew Griffiths and Farming Minister George Eustice said: “On the basis of submissions to the Call for Evidence, we believe that any formal extension of the GCA’s remit would not be appropriate at this time.
Senior Rural Business and Economics Adviser Dr Charles Trotman said:
"The failure to extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to include relationships of primary producers with processers or manufacturers means farmers, who do not have contracts directly with the largest supermarkets, will continue to suffer from the imposition of unfavourable contract terms, delays in payments, and unreasonable notice of price reductions. The Government must urgently reconsider and ensure the GCA can hold all those across the supply chain to account for substandard practices.
Although there are some welcome measures announced today that will help in particular small farmers compete in what is an increasingly competitive market the failure to extend the remit of the GCA significantly overshadows all of these. "