Groceries Supply Code of Practice

General Information

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP) came into force on 4 February 2010. It applies to all Grocery Retailers with grocery sales over £1 billion and requires them to submit an annual report to the Competition and Markets Authority and the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

Our last annual report was submitted in April 2020 covering the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.

Code-related Developments During 2019

The GCA Annual Survey 2019 revealed that Aldi continued to be ranked top by Suppliers in terms of overall compliance with the Code, now for the 6th year in a row! Overall, 97% of Aldi Suppliers surveyed said Aldi complied with the Code ‘Consistently or Mostly Well’. Of these, 55% rated us at ‘Consistently Well’, 15% better than the next placed Grocery Retailer.

We are incredibly proud of these results and appreciate the feedback of all of our Suppliers who took part. Equally though, we recognise we can’t afford to become complacent. Trading conditions have been challenging for retailers and Suppliers alike, competition is intense and uncertainty over Brexit during the majority of 2019 added further pressures.

We have therefore continued to invest more focus on how we can continue to improve on what we do, and how we do it, to promote the long-term mutually beneficial supply relationships that we value.

During 2019, we have:

  • Reviewed and refreshed the GSCOP training our Primary and Senior buyers receive on joining our Buying Teams, and on which they are refreshed on annually
  • Introduced some specific GSCOP training for our Finance colleagues
  • Trained a record number of 310 colleagues using these materials
  • Undertaken our own Internal Assurance review of ALDI’s compliance with the Code, implementing a number of internal control improvements as a result
  • Taken the opportunity to make some process improvements utilising lessons learned from an ongoing dispute
  • Issued a twice yearly GSCOP Supplier newsletter; highlighting important developments under the Code, the work of the GCA and the importance of Suppliers’ understanding the protections the Code provides them
  • Continued regular meetings and dialogue with the GCA

The collaborative approach the GCA adopts is welcomed by ALDI as a means to support continuous improvement utilising best practice from across the sector and we look forward to working with the new GCA at the conclusion of Christine Tacon’s term of office.

Supplier Disputes

ALDI fully supports the requirements of GSCOP, as these are aligned with the ALDI core values of Consistency, Simplicity and Responsibility. We pride ourselves on building long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with our Suppliers, and compliance with GSCOP firmly underpins this.

However, disputes can occur in any commercial relationship from time to time. Where these occur, we would encourage Suppliers to discuss any issues directly with their Buying Team in the first instance, so we have an opportunity to resolve them as quickly as possible. Where an issue can’t be resolved, Suppliers have the right to contact the ALDI Code Compliance Officer on any Code-related issue, raising a formal dispute under the Code if they so choose. Having carefully considered the circumstances, we will always seek to agree fair and reasonable resolutions to issues that our Suppliers have raised with us.

During 2019, one formal dispute was carried over from 2018 and one new formal dispute was raised by a Supplier in respect of an alleged breach of the Code. The new dispute was resolved during the reporting period whilst the one carried over from 2018 remained open at the end of the year, the Supplier having exercised their prerogative to request an independent arbitration by the GCA. This represents the first time ALDI has been involved in the GSCOP arbitration process.

Three other issues raised by Suppliers were handled informally, and in all three instances, a mutually acceptable resolution was agreed with the Supplier during 2019.

Code Compliance Officer Details

If you are a current Aldi supplier and you have any GSCOP-related queries, please feel free to contact Chris Young, Aldi’s Code Compliance Officer using the details below:

Email Address: - CCO@aldi.co.uk

Telephone Number: - +44 (0)1827 890616

Mark White formally replaced Christine Tacon as the Groceries Code Adjudicator on 31 October 2020. His contact details can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/organisations/groceries-code-adjudicator