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EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and The Groceries Code

View profile for Julie Robinson
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Will the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator change as a result of the EU/UK trade deal?

Nothing in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement impacts directly on the Groceries Supply Code of Practice or the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator. The Groceries code was introduced unilaterally in the UK by the Groceries (Supply Chain Practices) Market Investigation Order 2009, made by the Competition Commission (now the Competition and Markets Authority) following its inquiry into the grocery market. The Groceries Code Adjudicator was established in 2013 by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act, to enforce the Code between grocery retailers and their direct suppliers and to encourage compliance with it. Neither of these pieces of legislation derive from EU law.

The Government, while refusing to extend the remit of the Adjudicator to cover indirect farmer suppliers, has committed to ensuring greater fairness in the supply chain through the Agriculture Act 2020. This Act gives the Government the power to impose obligations on business purchasers of agricultural products, aimed at addressing the unfair trading practices in agrifood supply chains which flow from the disparity between smaller primary producers and larger businesses further up the chain. These will be entirely “made in Britain” provisions.

If you have any queries about your food supply contracts please get in touch with Peter Cusick or any member of the Roythornes Food and Drink team.

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