Thirty leading figures from the food and drink industry attended the Walker Morris Food & Drink lunch to listen to a presentation from Christine Tacon, the UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).

Ms Tacon led a discussion on the progress that her office has made since its inception in 2013 and its priorities for the coming year.

Against the backdrop of ongoing and heightened regulatory focus on supply relationships in the UK grocery sector, the GCA was established as the UK’s first independent adjudicator to oversee the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers.

The GCA’s role is to ensure that large supermarkets treat their direct suppliers lawfully and fairly and investigate complaints and arbitrates in disputes.

Earlier this year a YouGov survey undertaken on behalf of GCA indicated a drop in the number of suppliers reporting Groceries Code-related issues in their dealings with the ten large retailers in the last 12 months from 79 percent in 2014 to 70 percent in 2015. At the same time a larger proportion of suppliers would consider raising issues with the GCA – up 9 points to 47 percent – with concerns about retribution still the dominant reason for holding back.