Grocery code to increase 'fair and ethical dealing'

Grocery code of conduct

An industry group set up to hammer out a Canadian grocery code of conduct is getting closer to a final document, even as the way they will enforce its terms remains unclear.

A new working draft of the grocery code viewed by The Canadian Press and verified by two grocery sector sources lays out the fundamental elements of the industry-led accord, which aims to increase "fair and ethical dealing" across the grocery supply chain in Canada.

Still, while a final code is anticipated this spring, several potentially large stumbling blocks remain.

The draft notes that the dispute resolution mechanisms are still under development, though adds that a range of options from informal discussions to formal arbitration are on the table.

It also appears to be undecided how enforcement would be administered and how membership and participation in the code will work.

The industry committee working on the grocery code of conduct was established in response to contentious fees being charged to suppliers by large grocery retailers, including Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Walmart Canada.

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