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Groceries Supply Code Of Practice

Thirteen large UK grocery retailers are subject to the provisions of GSCOP, which was introduced in 2010. The purpose of GSCOP is to ensure that large grocery retailers always treat their grocery suppliers fairly. GSCOP applies to grocery suppliers, wherever they are located, even if this is abroad. GSCOP does not regulate prices or upstream relationships between, for example, grocery suppliers and their farmers or growers. The definition of “groceries” for the purposes of GSCOP includes health and beauty and household items (along with food and drink), but does not include for example, fuel, medicines, horticultural products, clothing or electrical items.

Key provisions of GSCOP include:

  • Written supply agreements
  • No retrospective changes to agreements
  • Reasonable notice of changes to supply chain
  • No delay in payments
  • No obligation to contribute to marketing costs
  • No payments for shrinkage
  • No unjustified payment for handling customer complaints
  • Clear process for de-listing suppliers or significantly reducing volumes
  • New starter and annual refresher training for groceries buyers

Each retailer has a designated GSCOP Code Compliance Officer (CCO). You can find the details of each retailer’s CCO here. While the CCO cannot provide legal advice to suppliers, you can contact our CCO if you believe that Tesco may be in breach of GSCOP. If you are involved in a complete or significant de-listing situation, you may also be entitled to discuss the delist with the CCO.

If you have queries or concerns about invoices or payments, suppliers are encouraged to contact our Supplier Helpdesk in the first instance on 0330 1231 005. We also offer an externally-hosted Supplier Protector Line (tescosuppliers@expolink.co.uk or https://wrs.expolink.co.uk/tescosuppliers) if you wish to raise any concerns about Tesco, for example breach of law, policies or unethical conduct by any Tesco colleague.

Since 2013 GSCOP has been overseen by the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA). The current GCA is Mark White. You can find out more about the GCA here, including guidance, best practice statements, case studies and investigation outcomes, along with the GCA’s annual reports.

In addition to contacting the CCO or using Supplier Helpdesk or Supplier Protector Line, the GCA also offers an independently-run, confidential reporting line called “Tell the GCA”, which suppliers can use to contact the GCA if they believe any designated retailer to be in breach of GSCOP. The GCA has also developed a “Code Confident” pack to help suppliers learn more about GSCOP. You can find the pack by clicking here.