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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

GCA launches annual survey

New adjudicator asks suppliers to give positive as well as negative feedback about retailers, as well as planning detailed interviews

GCA launches annual survey

Mark White

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The new Groceries Code Adjudicator Mark White has launched the GCA's annual survey, adapting it to include positive feedback and detailed interviews on particular issues of concern.

In his first year as adjudicator after taking over from Christine Tacon, White is keen to receive early information about how the sector is operating in such challenging times. The survey is an opportunity for suppliers to tell the GCA about any Code issues they are facing and whether the regulated retailers are treating them fairly and lawfully.  

For the first time, the survey will ask suppliers to provide positive feedback to their retailers as well as saying what has not worked so well. In addition, detailed interviews will be carried out with some suppliers after the survey to discuss particular issues arising from the findings.

This will be the eighth year the survey has been conducted and, as in previous years, it will be carried out by the independent polling company YouGov.  

From the beginning, the survey has played an important role in helping the GCA to achieve progress for suppliers, demonstrating where retailers’ efforts have improved Code compliance and identifying areas for them to make improvements. 

White said: “This survey will be immensely valuable in helping me identify the issues the groceries sector is facing as well as guiding my future work. What suppliers can tell me is particularly important as this is my first year as GCA and the sector is still working under the challenges of Covid and Brexit so I am asking them to be as frank as possible. Their answers can help their businesses.

“I have decided to include two innovations this year. First, I would like to hear from suppliers who think the retailers are doing a good job so I can highlight success and share good practice.

“Second, after the main survey has closed, I will be asking YouGov to carry out some detailed interviews with suppliers on particular issues arising from the findings. For example, in the last survey just over a third of respondents still reported Code-related issues even though the results showed progress across many areas. I would like to understand more clearly why this is the case. 

“If you supply one of the regulated retailers and are interested in taking part in these interviews please provide contact details at the end of the survey. As with survey responses, any information gathered from follow-up interviews will be treated with complete confidence.”

The survey closes on 21 February and the GCA will publish the results later in the spring/summer on its website as well as in a special edition of its newsletter.

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