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Tesco hounded by grocery watchdog

Tesco is facing a fresh investigation by the grocery watchdog over the supermarket’s treatment of its suppliers, the latest in a list of headaches for the company.

Christine Tacon speaking on the BBC (Photo: BBC)

Christine Tacon, the UK’s grocery code adjudicator, said on Thursday that she had reasonable suspicion that Tesco had breaches rules over its treatment of suppliers.

She said Tesco could be guilty of overcharging suppliers when customers return faulty goods or when deliveries are missing items.

There are also allegations of delays in refunding suppliers when Tesco incorrectly issued duplicate invoices, as well as charges for in-store promotions that were either incorrect or not agreed upon.

Encouraging suppliers to come forward, she told a parliamentary committee, “It would need more from one or two people but yes please… I do encourage suppliers to talk to me. I do need more than being told something over dinner.”

Tesco has been under intense scrutiny since its £263 million profit “black hole” was revealed in October, when law and accountancy firms handed over their findings to the police’s Serious Fraud Office. The police investigation continues.

Several of its executives have been sacked, have “stood down”, or remain suspended. Dan Jago, Tesco’s beer, wine and spirits chief, has been in the dark for the past several months.

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