Unfair packaging charges reduced says adjudicator, but payment delays still troubling
Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) Christine Tacon says the latest polling data from supermarket suppliers “demonstrate major progress across key issues” during her four years in the role. But she says payment delays remain a major issue.
“The overall fall is welcome, but the more dramatic data comes from looking at supplier experience of issues that I have identified among my Top Five, and where I have used collaborative or more formal regulatory action to drive change.”
The figures show a fall in suppliers experiencing:
- “forensic auditing” – from 45% in 2014, to 12% in 2017;
- “margin maintenance” requests, from 36% in 2014 to 10%;
- unjustified charges for consumer complaints, down from 37% to 12%;
- unfair packaging and design charges, down from 24% to 11%;
“Suppliers have found the issue of packaging and design charges to be an irritant for years. Recently a supplier in the fresh produce industry told me that that they had been trying to resolve the problem of overcharging in this area for more than 10 years. But within 18 months of me focusing on the problem he was pleased to say the issue had gone away.”
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