The Co-operative supermarket apologised to suppliers for charging sky-high fees
The ‘ethical’ Co-operative supermarket chain is facing a probe into its treatment of suppliers after it apologised for charging sky-high fees and refunded 110 firms a total of £500,000.
Christine Tacon, the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), has opened an investigation and said there was a reasonable suspicion the Co-op broke supply code rules, including claims that it dropped or delisted suppliers with little notice.
The allegations relate to new quality control targets introduced by the Co-op in 2017.
The firm said it has now acted to ensure fair treatment of suppliers, including retraining hundreds of staff in the groceries supply code of practice.
Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, said: ‘We are very sorry that in these two areas we have failed to live up to our usual high standards.
‘We are addressing the issues with the GCA and our suppliers and we hope the investigation will bring to light any additional cases.’