Regulatory Outlook

Food Law | UK Regulatory Outlook February 2023

Published on 28th Feb 2023

CMA launches programme to tackle grocery unit pricing issues | Reporting requirements to measure the health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare impacts of food | Groceries Code Adjudicator's Annual Survey for supplier feedback

CMA launches programme to tackle grocery unit pricing issues

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has launched a programme of work looking into unit pricing practices online and instore in the groceries sector. 

This follows on from the CMA's response to the groceries "super complaint" by Which? in 2015,  where it considered pricing and promotional practices in the groceries market, and which found that complexities and inconsistencies with unit pricing may prevent people from spotting which deal gives them the best value.

The newly launched programme will consider the following: 

  • if the unit pricing issues identified during the "super complaint" continue to be an issue now; 
  • the compliance with the law by retailers; and 
  • consumer awareness and use of unit pricing information. 

The programme is currently at an early stage and the CMA has not produced a view on the issues identified, but it expects to publish an update on this later in 2023.

Reporting requirements to measure the health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare impacts of food

The Grocer magazine has reported that the government is planning to move forward with a recommendation that was proposed in the Dimbleby report to create mandatory reporting requirements for food companies to measure the health, environmental sustainability and animal welfare impacts of food. 

It is reported that the Food Data Transparency Partnership (FDTP), which was formed under the government's food strategy, will have a five-year remit to work together with a number of businesses and government bodies (including Defra) to bring forward these requirements.

The government strategy outlined that FDTP will ensure there is "a robust framework for tackling some of the fundamental questions for our food system, raising transparency and responsibility". 

Groceries Code Adjudicator's Annual Survey for supplier feedback

Direct and indirect suppliers (and other stakeholders) have until 26 February to provide feedback to the Groceries Code Adjudicator.  See more information. This is intended to be a survey for confidential feedback on experiences in dealing with the 14 large retailers in the UK. 

Following this feedback, it will then be interesting to see any general reports of experiences and whether any updates are made to the Grocer's Code. 

Consultation on alcohol advertising in Scotland 

The Scottish government has recently launched a consultation into alcohol advertising and promotion in Scotland, which will close on 9 March 2023. 

A particular focus for this consultation has been the exposure of alcohol marketing in relation to children and young people. As a result of this consultation, further restrictions on alcohol advertising in Scotland are likely to be introduced in the future.


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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