Groceries Supply Code of Practice

 

General Information

The Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the Code) 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 on compliance with the requirements of the Code to the Competition and Markets Authority and the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

Our last annual report was submitted in April 2021 covering the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Code-related Developments During 2020

The GCA Annual Survey 2020 confirmed that Aldi continued to be ranked top by Suppliers in terms of overall compliance with the Code, now for the 7th year in a row! Overall, 97% of Aldi Suppliers surveyed said Aldi complied with the Code ‘Consistently or Mostly Well’. We value the feedback of all of our Suppliers who took part and give careful consideration to what you tell us, whether this be supportive or identifying areas for further improvement.

2020 saw an exceptionally challenging trading environment for both retailers and Suppliers given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertainty associated with post-Brexit trading arrangements commencing at the end of the year. We are proud to have worked together with our Suppliers, and within the framework of the Code, to feed the nation whatever the challenge.

Despite what has gone well, we know we can’t afford to be complacent and have therefore continued to invest effort to ensure we deliver our Code commitments consistently and effectively.

During 2020, 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 annually

• Extended the training to include Buying Teams working on categories excluded from the Code definition of Groceries

• Trained 612 colleagues using these materials

• Undertaken our own internal assurance review of Aldi’s compliance with the Code

• 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

Mark White was appointed as the second GCA succeeding Christine Tacon on 31 October 2020, following an extension to her role in light of the challenges faced because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to continuing the same collaborative approach with the new GCA, to further develop and apply Code best practice during his term of office.

Supplier Disputes

Aldi fully supports the requirements of the Code, and 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 the Code 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.

Two new disputes were raised with buying teams during 2020. Both of these were resolved within Aldi’s informal dispute process to the satisfaction of the Suppliers. One further dispute was carried over from the previous year where the Supplier had chosen to exercise their prerogative to request GCA arbitration under the Code’s formal dispute process. However, a commercial settlement was reached with the Supplier in February 2020.

ALDI Code Compliance Officer Details

Most Code matters can be effectively dealt with by contacting the relevant buying team. However, if you are an Aldi Supplier and have a Code-related issue or query, please feel free to contact Chris Young, Aldi’s Code Compliance Officer using the details below. Any discussions will be held in the strictest of confidence, and no details will be disclosed to your buying relationships without your express permission.

Email Address: - CCO@aldi.co.uk

Telephone Number: - +44 (0)1827 7105859

Groceries Code Adjudicator Details

The GCA has created a Code Confident pack that contains useful information on the Code, including a copy of the Code itself, answers to questions the GCA frequently receives, as well as a directory of providers who offer Code training. The pack also provides details of how you can contact Mark and his team and can be found by clicking here or via the QR code below:

Suppliers can also now use a confidential platform to report to the GCA any behaviour by a designated retailer they believe to be in breach of the Code. Reports using the platform can be made completely anonymously. Simply visit: www.tellthegca.co.uk.