Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum

The future of regulation in the food supply chain

Morning, Wednesday, 25th March 2020

Central London


This seminar will discuss the priorities for the UK food supply chain - with discussion on:

  • environmental protection;
  • the impact of future trading relationships; and
  • the regulatory landscape and role UK regulators post-Brexit.

Further areas for discussion include:

  • what more can be done tackling unfair trading practices across the supply chain, with discussion on the ongoing enforcement of the Groceries Code; and
  • the impact of the Agriculture Bill which includes a section on fairness in the supply chain - with provisions for the Secretary of State being able to make regulation to promote fair dealing.

The agenda

Keynote contribution:

Progress on ensuring fairness in the grocery supply chain and priorities going forward - with Christine Tacon, Groceries Code Adjudicator.

Further sessions on:

  • Key stakeholder issues for supply chain regulation:
    • Consumer protection and the future regulation of the grocery retail sector;
    • UK agriculture  - incentives and creating a consistent regulatory framework;
    • Fair trading practices - pricing, wastage and market dynamics; and
    • What could the overall regulatory framework look like post-Brexit.
  • Post-Brexit trading relationships and maintaining consumer confidence;
  • Future-proofing environmental legislation and regulation - food waste, water usage, and ecological erosion;
  • The European regulatory context - fair trading practice in the EU and globally; and
  • The role of UK regulators post-Brexit.

The future of regulation, supply chain practices, protecting UK businesses and post-Brexit trading relationships

With a government statutory review assessing GCA performance delegates will discuss the progress that the GCA has made in ensuring fairness in the grocery supply chain, as well as the scope and shape of future regulation across the supply chain.

They will also consider the impact of measures in the Agriculture Bill aimed at improving fairness in the supply chain - looking at what further regulation could look like and how it will be implemented.

Following the EU Directive on unfair trading practices earlier this year aiming to improve business to business relationships in the agri-food chain, delegates will discuss tackling unfair practices such as late payments, order cancellations, and wastage - as well as the UK response to these new rules and the evolving policy landscape.

Delegates will also consider how future UK regulation can be designed to support both policy aims and the food sector post-Brexit, as well as how to improve consistency and efficiency in the overall regulatory framework.

Further discussion will consider whether more needs to be done to protect agriculture and small suppliers going forward and the opportunities and challenges for post-Brexit trading relationships.

Protecting the environment through regulation in the food supply chain

The agenda looks at ways to reduce the environmental impact of the food supply chain - and the future-proofing of legislation and regulation - to reduce food waste, water usage and ecological erosion.

It takes place in the context of:

  • The Resources and Waste Strategy for England which includes potential regulation to make reporting of food surplus and waste mandatory and powers that could be introduced within the Agriculture Bill to reduce waste before the farm gate, as well as measures aimed at improving the redistribution of food across the food chain;
  • Provisions in the Agriculture Bill for rewarding farmers for protecting the environment through payment for public goods; and
  • The Draft Environment Bill which aims to increase environmental accountability and governance in areas such as habitat protection, waste efficiency and water management.

The role of UK regulators post-Brexit

Further sessions will provide an opportunity to look at the role of UK regulators in delivering standards, safety and fairness across a complex food chain, as well as the opportunities and challenges presented to regulators by Brexit in maintaining consistency.

Attendees will also discuss the European regulatory context and the priorities for fair trading practice - as well as the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Keynote Speaker

Christine Tacon

Groceries Code Adjudicator

Keynote Speaker

Christine Tacon

Groceries Code Adjudicator


Jessica Burt

Associate, Food Law, Mills & Reeve

Katrina Walsh

Policy Manager, The International Meat Trade Association