Protect Indirect Suppliers: we can if GCAn


The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) is an essential regulator in the food system, providing protection for direct suppliers to the UK’s ten largest supermarkets. However, the adjudicator’s role does not extend to indirect suppliers to the supermarkets, including many farmers and small food businesses.  This leaves businesses vulnerable to unfair trading practices that can lead to the inability to plan or invest in the future and prevent them from competing.

New plans for the GCA are soon to be announced and a number organisations are calling on Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and Margo James, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to extend the remit of the GCA to include indirect suppliers.

The Food Foundation is currently working to improve the veg supply chain through our Peas Please project, and are fully supportive of the request to extend the remit of the GCA in order to protect producers and providers of veg in the UK.  Ensuring consistent and affordable veg in the UK is absolutely critical, for increasing the consumption levels necessary to improve the nation’s health.  Veg producers need to have fair and regulated trading practices, and supporting UK production is more important than ever, due to the changing landscape and uncertainty of Brexit.

More information below on what is needed to #MakeFoodFairer



Click on the Traidcarft logo to read their strawman document, designed to prompt the dicussion around not just why, but how, the GCA can be extended to indirect suppliers and how it would operate given its extended remit.


This article by Sustain (click on the logo) makes a case for the extension of the GCA and provides useful information on the recent government consultation, due to be published this autumn.

Traidcraft submissions to the GCA review consultation in Jan 2017 can be found here.  The full submission to Part II explains the evidence behind the asks including the expansion of the remit.



In an article by Hort Week the NFU  explains the need for an exension of the GCA.  NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “The NFU believes more retailers, food service and food manufacturers should fall under the scope of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) to ensure the principles of fair trading are inherent across the whole supply chain.”

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The Groceries Code Action Network includes: Traidcraft Exchange, Oxfam GB, Fairtrade Foundation, Sustain, Tenant Farmers Association, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, The Food Foundation, Feedback, National Farmers Union of Scotland, Think Global, Food Ethics Council, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, Bananalink, Global Justice Now, British Independent Fruit Growers’ Association, War on Want. 

For more information contact