Grocery legislation 'urgently needed', says Food and Drink Industry Ireland

The Ibec-affiliated Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) has urged publication of “urgently needed” Irish grocery regulations after Tesco was found to have seriously breached the UK’s groceries supply code of practice by short-changing its suppliers in order to protect its own finances.

The Ibec-affiliated Food and Drink Industry Ireland (FDII) has urged publication of “urgently needed” Irish grocery regulations after Tesco was found to have seriously breached the UK’s groceries supply code of practice by short-changing its suppliers in order to protect its own finances.

A probe by Christine Tacon — Britain’s Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) — yesterday said that Tesco had effectively propped up its finances by short-changing suppliers and had an “endemic culture” of making deductions from suppliers’ bills and delaying payments.

In one case, the GCA found Tesco took more than two years to pay a multi-million pound sum owed to a supplier.

Tesco — which could be in line for heavy fines from a separate ongoing probe by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office — accepted the GCA’s findings, apologised, and said that it would work at rebuilding trust with suppliers.

It has been given four weeks to say how it plans to implement the GCA recommendations which call for “significant changes” to the way it deals with supplier payments.

The Irish food industry has been campaigning for the introduction of legislation here to protect suppliers from similar cases.

“Reform and new regulations have been promised, but have not yet been delivered. Ireland is now lagging far behind the UK, which introduced the Grocery Code in 2010 and the Grocery Code Adjudicator in 2013. The minister for enterprise should now publish long-delayed regulations,” said Paul Kelly, director of FDII.


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