Groceries Code Adjudicator

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The Groceries Code Adjudicator (or Supermarket Ombudsman) [1] is an independent statutory office responsible for enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice and to regulate the relationship between supermarkets and their direct suppliers within the United Kingdom. The post was created by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013 and is an independent office within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice applies to ten retailers with an annual turnover of £1bn+, namely Tesco, Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer, Asda, Lidl, Morrisons, Aldi, Waitrose, and Iceland.

The UK Competition Commission (as of 1 April 2014 the Competition and Markets Authority) undertook an investigation of grocery retail in 2009, and recommended that government establish an ombudsman for the sector.[2]

Trade magazine and website Retail Week reported that in response to calls for submissions to the Competition Commission investigation, major UK retailer Aldi supported the establishment of a retail ombudsman, while Tesco, Sainsbury's, and a number of other major retailers did not support its establishment.[3]

In January 2013 Christine Tacon was appointed to the role for a four-year period.[4] Her first investigation was into the supply chain activities of Tesco plc.[5]

The adjudicator publishes interpretative guidance on the Code of Practice, best practice statements and details of retailers' voluntary commitments [6] and arbitrates in disputes between retailers and suppliers.


  1. ^ BBC News, Christine Tacon named as supermarket ombudsman
  2. ^ "Competition Commission calls for retail ombudsman". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  3. ^ Faithfull, Mark (5 June 2009). "Waitrose gives last-minute show of support for retail ombudsman". Retail Week. Emap International Limited. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  4. ^ UK Government, Christine Tacon CBE
  5. ^ BBC News, Tesco knowingly delayed payments to suppliers, 26 January 2016, accessed 22 October 2017
  6. ^ GCA policy: Interpretative guidance, best practice statements and retailer voluntary commitments, March 2016

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