17 November 2008 | Jake Kanter
Supermarkets must halt their "outrageous, bully-boy tactics" toward suppliers during tough economic conditions, said National Farmers Union (NFU) president Peter Kendall. In a speech today at the Cardiff Business Club he said retailers should stop mistreating suppliers in their drive to gain lower prices for customers.
According to Kendall, the NFU has received many complaints from vendors about price reductions and delayed payment. He added that supermarkets could secure competitive prices for consumers without using "crippling squeeze tactics on suppliers".
He said: "We fully recognise the plight of consumers and their need to buy good value food during the credit crunch. There is enough flexibility in the margin taken by retailers to offer competitive pricing without reducing the price paid to farmers, growers and other suppliers."
During a meeting with major supermarkets last month, the government's rural affairs secretary Hilary Benn urged the firms to speed up payments to vendors. He said one late bill could be the difference between survival and collapse for a small supplier (Web news, 16 October).