A Grocery Code Adjudicator is currently being established in the UK

A Grocery Code Adjudicator is currently being established in the UK

The European Commission has said it will come forward with ideas for a grocery code adjudicator next autumn if there is no system of self-regulation in place.

A spokesperson for the Commission told just-food today (12 December) no proposal has yet been put forward for an EU-wide adjudicator. However, he said Brussels is starting to analyse what its legislative options are.

The spokesperson said the Commission would look at the various policies, instruments andorganisations in the different member states.

In the UK, for example, an adjudicator is being set up to oversee relations in those countries.

"This is an ongoing process which will take a good number of months," the spokesperson said. "We have made clear that if there is no system of self-regulation in place by next summer, the Commission will come forward with ideas for legislation in the autumn of 2013."

A Grocery Code Adjudicator is being established in the UK following a 2008 investigation that identified competition issues in the grocery supply chain. It will enforce a Grocery Code of Practice and act as an arbitrator in disputes between supermarkets and their suppliers. The industry watchdog will have the power to fine supermarkets who deal "unfairly" with suppliers.

Separately, the Commission this week said it would investigate whether the increasing use of private-label products "reduced choice and hampered innovation" in the sector.

The Commission is expected to publish a final report by the end of 2013.