On a video on the GCA website (gov.uk/gca), she said: "I often go to speak to groups of suppliers and am shocked by how many people actually want me to teach them about the code, whereas what I want to do is to update them on how I'm getting on and the various issues that I am following through."
The legally binding code has been in place for more than five years and Tacon's role has been in place for two years, she pointed out. "There is really no excuse why suppliers haven't yet got to grips with what the code is - and yet our YouGov survey showed that fewer than one-in-three suppliers said they had ever been trained in the code and that figure was down to one-in-ten among smaller businesses."
She contrasted this with the large grocery retailers themselves, which have to train their buyers in the code every year. "Buyers are kept on their toes as to what is and is not code-compliant," she said. "It's therefore awkward if suppliers do not know the code and don't know when to push back."
The NFU ran a training day on the code for members at the end of September. Its horticulture and potatoes board chairman Guy Poskitt said: "The ideal goal is a cultural change to a more collaborative approach with suppliers having the ability to raise issues with retailers and code-compliance officers with greater control over their terms of supply. I urge any retail supplier who does not understand the GSCOP to embrace this now - it will undoubtedly help them in the future."