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UK Supermarkets using “shocking” tactics to obtain money from suppliers

| International retailers

Christine Tacon, the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), is reported to have revealed some of the “shocking” practices that have been used by the major supermarkets to obtain money from suppliers.

Speaking on the power of supermarkets at a Westminster Forum conference, The Sunday Times said she outlined a number examples including one case where a supplier was pressured to spend £25,000 on a table at a charity ball or risk their trading relationship with the retailer.

Other ploys include claiming delivered goods never arrived, asking suppliers to pay to keep their goods on the shelves and charging up to £55 if a customer complains about a product.  And in one absurd example, a supermarket was said to have charged a supplier £45 after a customer claimed to have found a teabag in an egg.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Times said that Tacon revealed she was launching an investigation into the millions of pounds being stripped from suppliers under “drop and drive”.  This is where perishable food is sent to distributors but some of it does not appear on the payment system, with supermarkets claiming the products were never received.  Tacon said a preliminary investigation of 20 supply firms found they lost £15m a year to drop and drive – implying far greater amounts lost across the sector’s 8,000-9,000 firms.


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