News and Insights

Print this page

Search News & Insights

The CCPC Recommends Grocery Regulator

AUTHOR(S): Helen Kelly, Kate McKenna
PRACTICE AREA GROUP: EU, Competition and Regulatory, Food and Beverage
DATE: 30.10.2018

The CCPC has recommended that a new dedicated grocery sector regulator be established in light of the proposed EU Directive on Unfair Trading Practices (COM (2018)173) (the “Directive”). The CCPC is currently the responsible regulator under the similar existing Grocery Goods Undertakings Regulations 2016 (the “Grocery Regulations”). This CCPC recommendation may influence the outcome of the public consultation on how to implement the Directive, to which Matheson has contributed.

Speaking at the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine on 18 October 2018, Ms Isolde Goggin, chairperson of the CCPC, suggested that a new dedicated regulator should oversee the grocery sector, on the basis that the Directive’s aim to “ensure a fair standard of living for farmers” is a significant departure from the Grocery Regulations. More specifically, the CCPC suggested that there would be an unacceptable tension between possible further additions to the Directive, including a ban on below-cost selling, and the CCPC’s remit in looking after the interests of consumers.

Looking Forward

Irish grocery sector players will have to wait and see whether and how the CCPC recommendation influences how the Directive is implemented in Ireland and in particular the future of the Grocery Regulations and the CCPC’s role thereunder.

UK experience indicates that having a dedicated grocery sector can increase the cost and scope of regulation for business.  In terms of cost, Tesco was ordered to pay £1 million pounds towards the cost of the UK grocery regulator’s 2016 investigation which found the supermarket had purposely delayed in making payments to suppliers in order to boost profits.  In terms of scope, the UK grocery regulator is campaigning for extended powers to oversee Amazon and Boots, as well as traditional grocery retailers.

The Irish experience of the Grocery Regulations to date has not resulted in any announced investigation of a particular retailer or any sanction / fine, but the CCPC announced earlier this year that investigating compliance with the Grocery Regulations has become a strategic priority.

Matheson has in-depth expertise on the Grocery Regulations and the Directive; if you have any questions, please get in contact.


About cookies on our website

Following a revised EU directive on website cookies, each company based, or doing business, in the EU is required to notify users about the cookies used on their website.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience of certain areas of the site and to allow the use of specific functionality like social media page sharing. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but as a result parts of the site may not work as intended.

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)