The Grocery Code of Conduct will be a positive development for the produce industry, says Ron Lemaire, president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA), one of several industry organizations that has been actively involved in building the elements of the code.
“Our focus has been on ensuring that the new code would not disrupt existing tools, such as the Dispute Resolution Corporation (DRC). We are confident that we have successfully achieved this goal, and upon its launch, this voluntary model will contribute positively to the buyer/seller relationship. The next phase involves finalizing the remaining aspects and continuing discussions to ensure participation from all essential players in the food system,” says Lemaire.
The Grocery Code of Conduct Steering Committee, now functioning as the interim Board, has been working on development of a code for more than two years.
“Based on the progress made thus far, the interim Board believes that we have laid a solid foundation for advancement. The Board will continue to negotiate with industry to fine tune the principles of the code.”
In recent weeks, grocery leaders and industry associations have voiced comments about the code with Loblaw and Walmart heads stating concerns that the code could lead to higher prices for customers and others, notably Empire head Michael Medline, Metro CEO Eric La Flèche, Food Health and Consumer Products of Canada’s CEO Michael Graydon and Retail Council of Canada’s CEO Diane J. Brisbois, stating the code would benefit the industry and not lead to higher food prices.