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Grocer code of conduct welcomed

What could a grocery code do? It could neutralize power relations within the Canadian food supply chain, stabilize retail prices, emphasize value and innovation for consumers, improve the security of the domestic food supply and encourage investment in the agri-food sector.

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Interim Board of the Office of the Grocery Sector Code of Conduct Welcomes Loblaw’s Announcement of Support

Toronto, ON, May 16, 2024 – The Interim Board of the Office of the Grocery Sector Code of Conduct (OGSCC) for the Grocery Code of Conduct welcomes today’s announcement from Loblaw Companies Limited that it has officially committed to participating in the Grocery Code of Conduct.

On behalf of the OGSCC Interim Board, the Chair,  Michael Graydon, stated that:. “We welcome the news that Loblaw has agreed to participate in the Grocery Code of Conduct. Within a very complex food system, the vision for the Code has always been based on a fully inclusive, voluntary Code, developed by the grocery industry and managed by its stakeholders across the supply chain. Today’s announcement by Loblaw brings us one step closer to the implementation of the Code as we continue to work with all industry partners to ensure we have maximum participation.

The series of discussions held between Loblaw and the Code Industry Working Group provided an opportunity to embed additional clarity around some of the Code’s provisions ensuring the Code is applied as intended, supporting simplicity, and fostering a clear understanding of its application. Ultimately, this will lead to better collaboration between all parties involved in the grocery supply chain.

The Code’s development, initiated by the Federal-Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Agriculture, has been a collaborative effort involving retailers, distributors, manufacturers/suppliers and primary producers. This collaborative approach ensures that the Code supports small stakeholders and the industry, recognizing the complexities of the Canadian grocery market.

For more information, please contact the Interim Board of the OGSCC through its website at: https://canadacode.org/contact/

or

Anthony Fuchs,
Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
anthony.fuchs@fhcp.ca

Michelle Wasylyshen
Retail Council of Canada
mwasylyshen@retailcouncil.org

Latest Updates on the Canadian Grocery Code of Conduct Initiative

January 2024 – The Interim Board of Directors, representing a newly formed Office of the Adjudicator for the Grocery Code of Conduct, presented a finalized version of the Grocery Code and its governance framework to Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Ministers in late 2023.

This marked a key phase in an ongoing code development effort that began in fall 2021, focusing on promoting fair trading practices within the grocery sector. Originally led by a Steering Committee composed of senior executives from 10 industry associations, this group evolved into the Interim Board of Directors on November 2, 2023, establishing a firm administrative base for the Code.

The Code’s development has been a collaborative journey, heavily influenced by the input of various sub-committees and the Industry Working Group, which came together in July 2022. This group, made up of executives from different segments of the grocery supply chain, has been pivotal in shaping the Code in its entirety. Supported by a competition law specialist, their discussions have ensured that the Code is equitable and attuned to the complexities of the Canadian grocery market. Contributions from a wide range of stakeholders within the grocery supply chain have also been crucial in shaping the Code.

The success of the Grocery Code of Conduct depends on the involvement and support of all major grocery retailers. There have been concerns about potential market imbalances if not all key players participate, a topic that was prominently discussed in recent House of Commons Agriculture Committee hearings.

Addressing these challenges, the Interim Board remains dedicated to engaging in meaningful dialogue to find solutions that respect the interests of all parties involved.

We will continue to provide updates as this initiative progresses.

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