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Managing the supermarket supplier relationship


The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) is the UK's independent arbitrator to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers. They work to ensure that large supermarkets treat their direct suppliers lawfully and fairly by upholding and enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. They also investigate complaints and arbitrate in disputes.

Which supermarkets must abide by the code?

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) only applies to certain retailers, specified by the independent competition authorities. These retailers are:

  • Asda Stores Limited, a subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc
  • Co-operative Group Limited
  • Marks & Spencer plc
  • Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc
  • J Sainsbury plc
  • Tesco plc
  • Waitrose Limited, a subsidiary of John Lewis plc
  • Aldi Stores Limited
  • Iceland Foods Limited, a subsidiary of the Big Food Group
  • Lidl UK GmbH

Making a complaint about a supermarket as a direct supplier

If your business is a direct supplier to a supermarket and you feel that you have been unlawfully or unfairly treated by the supermarket you can complain to the GCA . The Adjudicator is not able to consider issues that do not relate to the Code. Before raising a complaint with the GCA, check whether they are responsible for the matter by referring to their complaints checklist. For more information on making a complaint, download guidance on raising an issue or providing information to the GCA (PDF, 315K).