The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has added Ocado Group and B&M Homestores to its list of British retailers applicable under the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (the Code).
Other retailers already subject to the Code include Asda Stores, Co-operative Group, Marks & Spencer, Wm Morrison Supermarkets, J Sainsbury, Tesco, Waitrose, Aldi Stores, Iceland Foods, and Lidl UK.
The Groceries Supply Code of Practice only applies to companies with more than £1bn of annual groceries turnover. It defines the way retailers should treat suppliers and restricts chances of abusing their commercial power.
The independent Groceries Code Adjudicator is responsible for managing the compliance with the Code.
CMA Remedies Enforcement head Peter Hill said: “These rules mean that suppliers are protected from unfair business practices, and retailers can trade with confidence on a level playing field. Businesses supplying Ocado and B&M will now also benefit from this protection.”
According to the Code, retailers are not allowed to change the terms of supply and are required to provide notification stating reasons for not using a supplier.
This arrangement allows suppliers to innovate and invest, resulting in offering more options and choices as well as availability for customers.
The Competition Commission (CC) created the Code in 2009 following an investigation into the supply of groceries in the UK. It identified that some suppliers of major retailers were not treated fairly.