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.

 christine tacon


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.



Posted on January 23, 2013, in Corporate political nexus, Revolving door and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It could have been worse – Sean Rickard:

    A retrospective by Ruth:


    Sean Rickard is Senior Lecturer in Business Economics at the Cranfield School of Management, and is acknowledged in some circles as an expert in the economics of agriculture. In this capacity he is given to talking the most terrible nonsense on food and farming on the BBC and Channel 4 News. Indeed he’s become their go-to man, as they say in cricket. He can be relied upon to trot out the down-the-line, no-prisoners-taken, neoliberal dogma that has dominated the world over the past 30 years, of the kind that has brought British agriculture to a hitherto inconceivably parlous state and indeed is endangering all humankind and our fellow species too. I wish Mr Rickard no personal ill, but the whole sorry, ill-conceived philosophy that he represents, has to be put a stop to.

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