Do you think retail buying is giving procurement a bad name?

Rebecca Ellinor Tyler is former editor of Supply Management
23 January 2015

There’s been a spate of bad news for suppliers to the food and grocery sector this week.

On Monday, came the news that more than 100 firms could go bust by the end of the year because supermarket price wars are “pushing many food suppliers to the brink”.

Corporate recovery firm Begbies Traynor said the number of companies in “significant distress” in the food and drink manufacturing sector increased 92 per cent year-on-year to 1,410 in the last quarter of 2014. And for SMEs the picture was even worse.

The next day, the 'unfair' issue of late payment was discussed at a meeting of MPs organised by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) as it seeks to “toughen up” the Prompt Payment Code.

Then came the news that MPs called on the UK government to extend supermarket watchdog powers to give dairy farmers more protection against falls in milk prices. 

All these issues and others - including reports of modern slavery in the supply chain - have prompted us to ask you ‘are retailers damaging the reputation of the procurement profession as a whole?’ 

Have negative revelations like the horse meat scandal, working conditions in some electronics and garment factories or reports of the use of modern slavery affected the work you do in procurement and supply?

We also want to know if there are elements of retail procurement and supply you admire or think you can learn from – the use of technology, turnaround times or the ability to influence profits perhaps.

Let us know your views in our 2-minute survey and we’ll let you know the results from you and your peers once it’s complete.

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