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NIFDA Executive Director Michael Bell OBE

Since the establishment of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) in 2013, the GCA office has played an important role in ensuring farmers and processors are treated fairly and lawfully by retailers. The GCA encourages and enforces compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, arbitrates in disputes and can launch investigations if there are reasonable grounds to suspect the Code has been broken.

Earlier in June the Groceries Code Adjudicator Mark White released the results of the GCA Groceries Sector Survey. Now in its tenth year, the survey gives suppliers the opportunity to share confidentially how they have been treated by large UK retailers over the past year.

NIFDA Executive Director Michael Bell

The key headline results of this year’s survey show that, unsurprisingly, inflation continues to be a challenge for the food and drink sector, as input and ingredient costs continue to rise for producers and processors. Over 90% of suppliers who responded to the survey had requested at least one cost price increase in the previous 12 months, but 28% of respondents reported either a refusal to consider a cost price increase from a retailer, or an unreasonable delay in reaching a decision on a request. 

However despite difficulties around inflation, the survey shows that suppliers think retailers have improved in their compliance to the Code and the average compliance score across the retailers was 92%.

Over this period, food inflation has been higher than at any point over the past decade, affecting businesses and consumers everywhere. Food and drink manufacturers have been doing their best to absorb these increased costs, but inevitably some price increases have to be passed on, and industry continues to engage with retailers to ensure suppliers are getting a fair deal.


The latest NIFDA GSCOP training took place in May 2023

NIFDA provides members with training on the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, with our most recent course taking place last month. Working in collaboration with the British Brands Group, these courses help food and drink firms understand and keep up-to-date with the Code, and equip them to make a difference in their trade negotiations. If you think your company could benefit from learning more, please get in touch with the NIFDA office who can provide any information on future events.