Supermarket Code Long Overdue

UK - Retrospective demands for money and changes to trading terms are just some of the shady dealings being reported to the National Farmers' Union (NFU) in the days before a new code to govern retailer/ supplier trading is introduced.
calendar icon 4 February 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

The new Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice code, set to start on today (February 4), will provide retailers with clear guidelines for dealing with suppliers and contains an over-riding principle of fair dealing. However, the NFU says that, as recent retail buyer behaviour demonstrates, the start of the strengthened code, policed by an independent ombudsman, can’t come quick enough.

“Recent reports to me about retailer behaviour in the supplychain have demonstrated nothing but bully-boy tactics,” said NFU President Peter Kendall.

“This week should have been marked by a sea change in grocery supply chain relationships with our farmer and grower members but instead in the past ten days I have heard how suppliers to major retailers have faced some of the most unreasonable demands for retrospective payments and changes to trading terms that we’ve ever seen.

“Retailers are effectively launching pre-emptive strikes on suppliers before the new Grocery Suppliers Code of Practice – and the protection it affords - comes into force. Squeezing the very life blood out of British producers will only reduce supply and, in the long-term, affect consumer choice.

"The whole supply chain should be working together to meet the long term challenges that the food system faces; feeding a growing global population while impacting less on the environment. However, this sort of short-termism is hugely damaging. These practices need to stop today - not after the Code’s implementation.”

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