The new Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 provides for the introduction of Grocery Regulations.

The Regulations will govern contract terms between retailers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors of groceries with annual worldwide turnover of more than €50 million and other grocery companies. Grocery goods are currently defined as food and drink, toiletries, household cleaning products, garden plants and bulbs.

The main purpose of the Regulations will be to limit large retailers’ ability to engage in certain practices with suppliers (such as requiring payment for shrinkage). In addition, the Regulations may impose terms on large suppliers, distributors and wholesalers in their dealings with retailers. However, the exact content of the Regulations has not yet been decided.

Timing and impact

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is currently working on draft Regulations, and intends to consult with industry stakeholders on these over the coming months. Once in place, the Regulations will be enforced by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (the “CCPC”) although it is likely that the CCPC will focus on raising awareness of the Regulations in the first instance before undertaking any actual enforcement. We will provide a detailed update when more information is available about the content of the Regulations.

Implications for your business

  • The Regulations will only apply to contracts signed or renewed after their entry into force - bear this in mind when considering the timing of new contracts or contract renewals.
  • Anyone with a particular interest in the content of the Regulations can provide their input to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.