The new Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), Mark White, is to launch a new ‘anonymous reporting platform’ to allow suppliers to share concerns about retailer behaviour in confidence.
Writing in the January 2021 edition of the GCA newsletter, White said, “I have a legal obligation to protect the anonymity of suppliers who bring me information if that is what they wish. Yet, in repeated annual surveys, a significant number still say they would not do so for fear of retaliation. I want to overcome any remaining concern in this area and therefore I am establishing a confidential platform, hosted by an independent third-party, for suppliers to report behaviour by a designated retailer that they believe to be in breach of the Code.”
The new platform, which will be called ‘Tell the GCA’ will allow suppliers to provide information anonymously and can also choose to continue to correspond with me via a secure post box that protects their identity. “I am working towards having ‘Tell the GCA’ up and running early in February. Look out for further information on the GCA website,” he added.
The move was announced just weeks after retailers’ Code Compliance Officers formally confirmed that they will treat any discussions with suppliers in the strictest of confidence.
The CCOs have also agreed that it will be up to the supplier to determine whether they can disclose any details about the subject matter of their Code-related discussion within their designated retailer.
Mark White said: “In practice this is how CCOs have operated, maintaining confidentiality in discussions. But the problem is that nowhere has this been clearly stated and many suppliers have been unclear about the position.”