Christine Tacon to become first Groceries Code Adjudicator
Business Minister Jo Swinson announced the appointment in a statement issued this morning.
Tacon, who headed up the Co-operative Group’s farming business for 11 years, will be responsible for enforcing the Groceries Supply Code of Practice covering supermarkets with turnovers in excess of £1 billion to ensure that supermarkets treat their suppliers “lawfully and fairly”.
Commenting on the appointment, Swinson said: "This is an incredibly important position in the retail groceries sector making sure that large supermarkets treat their suppliers fairly and lawfully. Ms Tacon has a wide range of experience in the food, retail and farming industry and her appointment is a real milestone. Her knowledge of the sector will be of huge benefit, and I’m sure will be crucial in making the Groceries Code Adjudicator a positive and powerful contributor to the groceries industry."
Tacon added: "Being the Groceries Code Adjudicator is a significant responsibility, and I am honoured to have been given the chance to make a permanent and enduring difference to the groceries sector. Coming from a commercial background, I am sure that if we can increase trust between retailers and their direct suppliers, it will lead to greater efficiency and can only have a beneficial impact on the rest of the supply chain."
The Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, which will formally create the office of the Adjudicator, is currently before Parliament. Tacon will act as Adjudicator-Designate until the office of the Adjudicator is established by law, when she will formally take up the four year appointment.
Ministers have also agreed that she will appear before the BIS Select Committee for a pre-appointment hearing.
Adrian Bailey MP, chair of the committee said: "This is a welcome change of policy from the Government, which was called for by the Select Committee and Opposition team in the debate on the Bill. It is also perfectly consistent with the approach taken by the Government in securing as much pre-legislative scrutiny as possible.
"The Select Committee spent many hours taking evidence on this issue and will examine the suitability of the proposed candidate against this evidence and the recommendations it made."
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