5 February 2010 | Jake Kanter
A war of words has broken out between the chief executive of supermarket chain Iceland and a UK-based business group over the new Groceries Supply Code of Practice.
Iceland’s CEO Malcolm Walker stoked anger earlier this week when he told the Daily Telegraph that the code - introduced yesterday to aid relations – was a “waste of time”.
"Nothing is going to change. Big suppliers bully small retailers and big retailers bully small suppliers," he said, adding that the company would do the “bare minimum” to comply with the code.
Forum of Private Business (FPB) chief executive Phil Orford has written to Walker to complain about his comments. He said: "This bullying behaviour is simply bad practice and an abuse of their dominant market position. To attempt to normalise it is unacceptable.”
But Walker refused to back down, telling the Telegraph today: "The FPB are pillocks."
FPB spokesman Phil McCabe told SM that Walker’s comment “strikes right at the heart of the issue”. He said: “His dismissive attitude is exactly the reason why suppliers need a strong code of practice. You can see why suppliers have a problem when retailers act like this.”