Grocery retailing has undergone revolutionary change over the last few decades. As the traditional quartet of the local butcher, baker, candlestick maker greengrocer and fishmonger has given way to the omnipresent national supermarket chain, retailer buyer power vis-à-vis suppliers has increased tremendously. Belatedly, the regulation of the groceries sector is catching up.
This year saw the establishment of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, with the aim of effecting real change in the regulation of the sector. Christine Tacon, whose position as the Adjudicator was announced in January this year, formally took up her role in June. It is hoped this move will enhance levels of compliance with the groceries supply code, which has been in force since February 2010. Ms Tacon is charged with investigating complaints of breaches of the code, adjudicating in disputes, and providing advice to retailers and suppliers. Pat Treacy and David George discuss this significant milestone for the sector in their longer article in Competition Law Insight.