Small Business Minister Paul Scully has confirmed that Christine Tacon will step down as Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) later this year before being replaced by Mark White.
Tacon, who was due to step down from her role in June, has been reappointed for a term of up to six months in order to provide continuity to the groceries sector through the coronavirus pandemic.
Mark White, who currently serves as a non-executive chairman of Digital Reconnaissance Limited, a cyber protocol employee reference checking company, will carry out the role of the deputy GCA in the interim period.
“The exceptional times in which we find ourselves demonstrate the importance of a constructive relationship between the retailers and their suppliers, as well as the Code’s resilience in shaping those relationships.”
Commenting on his appointment, White said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to succeed Christine Tacon. I welcome the opportunity to build on Christine’s work and as GCA my objective will be to drive forward the progress that has been made to date. As the annual survey has shown, much has been achieved, but there is still more to be done and I welcome the Government’s commitment in its response to the Statutory Review to work with me to help suppliers feel empowered to raise issues in confidence with the GCA and their retailers directly.
“The exceptional times in which we find ourselves demonstrate the importance of a constructive relationship between the retailers and their suppliers, as well as the Code’s resilience in shaping those relationships. I intend to build relationships across the sector – most importantly with the retailers, suppliers and trade bodies – while I carry out the role of Deputy to Christine in the short term. In that way, I will be in a strong position to work on future issues as her successor and the UK’s second GCA.”
Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “Mark White’s extensive experience will bring valuable insight to this important role, providing support to the groceries sector through these difficult times. I look forward to working with him to ensure a level playing field between grocers and suppliers.”
White is also member of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) and of the Lower Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) at HM Courts & Tribunal Service, where he is responsible for hearing appeals against decisions from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Ministry of Justice in a range of financial services and claims management cases.
He also served as an executive board member at Compass Group PLC, which employs more than 600,000 people with operations in over 45 countries. Here, White was responsible for legal, governance, the annual report, compliance and insurance, as well as the professional development of 140 lawyers for this FTSE 30 food and support services company.