New regulations for the grocery sector now in force
May 6, 2016
On the 30 April 2016, the Grocery Goods Regulations took effect, placing obligations on grocery businesses in Ireland. The purpose of the Regulations is to facilitate greater certainty and transparency in the dealings between suppliers and grocery businesses. Therefore, the 30 April 2016 was an important date not just for those wholesalers/retailers affected but also for the suppliers of those businesses. The CCPC is responsible for monitoring compliance, investigating complaints and, where appropriate, taking enforcement action.
The Regulations apply to retailers and wholesalers of food and drink operating in Ireland, who have, or are part of a wider group that has, a worldwide turnover in excess of €50 million. All businesses that fall under the remit of the Regulations must familiarise themselves with the new obligations and take steps to ensure that they are in compliance. Suppliers of grocery goods are also encouraged to engage with wholesalers/retailers that they supply on the changes arising from the new Regulations.
What happens next?
Any wholesalers/retailers of grocery goods, who have not already done so, should examine the Regulations to assess the relevance to their business and take any necessary steps to ensure compliance. Relevant wholesalers/retailers are required to appoint and train appropriate staff members to be responsible for compliance with the Regulations and for informing other staff about their implementation. They must also appoint a “liaison officer” who will deal directly with the CCPC in relation to the Regulations.
It is important for any wholesaler/retailer affected to remember that all grocery goods contracts, entered into or renewed since 30 April 2016, must be in writing and that they should maintain records of their dealings with suppliers. Affected businesses should also be aware that the first annual compliance reports, covering the period from end April 2016 to end December 2016, must be submitted to the CCPC no later than the end of March 2017.
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