NFU calls for ornamentals watchdog

The NFU is calling for the ornamental sector to be brought under the GSCOP legislation and for the turnover threshold to be reduced to widen the scope of businesses regulated by the code and adjudicator.

Christine Tacon
Christine Tacon
GSCOP is the Grocery Supply Code of Practice run by Grocery Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon that polices supermarkets contracts with suppliers.

This follows an announcement that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has agreed to launch an industry call for evidence of unfair trading practices, alongside the statutory review of the GCA role. 

The GCA came into force in June 2013 with a remit to enforce the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) covering just the 10 biggest UK retailers.

Tacon has previously said her role was already too full to include ornamental as well as edible horticulture and farming.

But a NFU/BPOA code of good trading practice launched in 2013 failed to get any supermarkets to sign up. 

The statutory role of the code is under review with the deadline being 10 January 2017.  

Business minister Margot James is reviewing the code.

Defra minister George Eustice said: "Our food and farming industry generates over £100 billion a year for the economy and the Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) has been a very good step forward toward securing greater fairness in this vital industry's supply chain. 

"While having a positive impact on the relationship between producers and suppliers, there has been lots of discussion about what more the GCA can do to support our farmers who are so often at the end of the chain and want more support in their negotiations with supermarkets and other companies.

"Through this consultation, all those that want to see the GCA's role extended have the chance to make their case and provide their evidence. I encourage farmers to have their say."

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