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Licence for supermarket buyers proposed to prevent supply chain abuse

| Supply chain

A licence system that regulates retail staff who deal directly with suppliers, such as buyers, has been proposed by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) as a way of clamping down on supply chain abuse.

In light of Tesco’s accounting scandal and allegations that it and other grocery retailers have received complaints from suppliers relating to potential breaches of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), the CIPS suggested that a licencing system would help improve how companies work their suppliers, preventing malpractice and other scandals such as the horsemeat crisis emerging. The report by the Telegraph said that a licence system would require workers to demonstrate the appropriate skills and qualifications for dealing with suppliers and those staff who were found to have breached the terms of the licence would be stripped of it. 

David Noble, Chief Executive of CIPS, said the system would be a form of “self-regulation” and told the newspaper that it has already held talks with key bodies in the industry and government officials. Noble said he was “very concerned” about the relationship between retailers and suppliers, and that a licencing system was “essential” if there is to be a “the real step change we need in the retail industry”.

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