The Office of Fair Trading is writing to suppliers'
the supermarkets to see if any changes need to be made in
their code of
Responses requested by 28 March
OFT TO CONDUCT SUPERMARKETS CODE REVIEW
OFT is to conduct a review of the Supermarkets Code of Practice,
after it came into effect.
The Code followed a Competition Commission
report in October 2000,
which recommended a code of practice to put relations
supermarkets and their suppliers on a clearer and more
The OFT is today writing to a wide variety of
organisations and the supermarkets themselves. The OFT is asking
views on the Code and how it has been working in practice.
have been requested by 28 March.
At the end of the review,
the OFT will report on whether the Code is
working effectively and whether it
should be changed.
1. The Competition Commission report
"Supermarkets: A report on the
supply of groceries from multiple stores in
the United Kingdom", CM
4842, was published on 10 October 2000. See
commission.org.uk/reports/446super.htm#full. Copies are
from the Stationery Office. It made a number of adverse
concerning the practices of supermarkets in relation to
2. Copies of the Code of Practice are available as an
the Department of Trade and Industry's press release of 31
2001 (P/2001/606). See <http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/topics2>
3. The Code covers Asda, Safeway,
Sainsbury and Tesco (all have a
market share above 8%).
4. The Code
does not apply:
- to supermarkets with a market share below 8%
- to issues not identified by the Competition Commission in
report as adverse effects on the public interest and intended to
addressed by the Code.
5. In its response of December 2002 to
Recommendation 9 of the report
of the Policy Commission on the Future of
Farming and Food (Cm 5709).
/response/section1.pdf) the Government
committed the OFT to
publishing an 'annual report on how the code has been
particularly in relation to dispute resolution'.
Government is committed to reviewing the Code annually. This
review will be
treated as a separate issue from the supermarket
mergers currently under
consideration by the OFT.
7. In this press release the functions of the
Director General of
Fair Trading (DGFT) are for simplicity described as the
"the OFT". The Enterprise Act 2002 will replace the office of
DGFT with the OFT, to which will be transferred the DGFT's
The relevant provisions of the Enterprise Act are expected to
into force in April 2003.
PUBLIC enquiries: 0845 7224499
OFT reports and consumer information leaflets are available free
OFT, PO Box 366, Hayes UB3 1XB 0870 6060321