Will the first Groceries Code Adjudicator be impartial, despite her corporate conditioning?
Christine Tacon, who ran the Co-operative Group’s farming business for 11 years, has been appointed as the first Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).
The corporate–friendly conditioning of the new adjudicator, Christine Tacon, for the first eighteen years (1982–2000) took place in sales and marketing for corporates, including:
- Mars Confectionery – Milky Way, Savoury Snacks etc,
- the Great British Lottery Company,
- Anchor Foods Ltd (now Fonterra) and in
- studying for an MBA (Cranfield).
Cause for concern – balance sheet rules OK!
In 2003 the Co-operative was one of the biggest dairy farmers in Europe, supplying 30m litres of milk every year. But Ms Tacon – celebrated for ‘forcing out inefficiencies’ (AIC, 2004) – announced that it was impossible to make a profit from milk production, and withdrew from dairy farming altogether.
At her alma mater, flouting co-operative convictions and procedure
Also that year, at the National Agricultural Industries Confederation conference at Cranfield, in tune with the dismal Sean Rickard, without consulting the Co-op membership – which is said to own and control it – she said that the company might have to ‘revisit’ its recent announcement of a ban on all things connected with GM – despite the ‘strong anti views’ of members.
Her belief that further work might be needed on the public’s understanding of the issues brings to mind Enron’s Rebecca Mark ‘educating’ people in India and the current corporate political drive to impose GM crops in this country despite unwavering consumer opposition.
We can only hope for better in her new position.