Government reappoints Mark White as Groceries Code Adjudicator

Mark White has been reappointed as Groceries Code Adjudicator for a further 3-year period.

White was appointed as the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) on 31 October 2020, after serving as the deputy GCA from July 2020. He is also a Member of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) and of the Lower Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) at HM Courts & Tribunal Service where he is responsible for hearing appeals against decisions from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Ministry of Justice in a range of financial services and claims management cases.

Prior to that, Mark was the Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and Executive Board Member at Compass Group PLC. He was also Group General Counsel Company Secretary and Executive Board Member at Ferguson PLC (formerly Wolseley PLC), Enterprise Oil PLC (now part of Royal Dutch Shell) and Rotork p.l.c. Mark was also a solicitor at Eversheds Sutherland LLP (formerly Frere Cholmeley).

The Groceries Code Adjudicator was established on 25 June 2013 by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013. The GCA is appointed by the Secretary of State for Business and Trade.

The GCA is responsible for regulating the relationships between the UK’s largest grocery retailers and their direct suppliers by encouraging, monitoring and enforcing compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the Code).

The Groceries (Supply Chain Practices) Market Investigation Order 2009 was introduced following a market investigation into the dominance of the large supermarkets and includes a requirement to comply with the Code. The Order and the Code are the responsibility of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The GCA works with the designated retailers it regulates to respond to issues raised by suppliers, trade associations and other representative bodies. The GCA can arbitrate disputes between retailers and suppliers, publish formal guidance and has the power to launch investigations where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the Code has been breached.

The government must review the performance and effectiveness of the GCA every three years. A report on the third statutory review, for the period from April 2019 – March 2022, was published in July 2023. This review concluded the GCA to have been a highly regarded and efficient regulator, and effective in enforcing the Code over the review period.

Mark White will continue as the GCA for a 3-year term following on from his current term which ends on 30 October 2024. This appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments and has been made in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.

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