UK supermarkets will be questioned by the adjudicator for the Groceries Code over alleged delays of payment to small suppliers.
In the coming weeks, Mark White will meet with various code compliance officers from supermarkets around the UK to investigate the allegations.
The investigation comes as requests for cost and price increases have increased significantly.
White says this causes further strains on their relationship with suppliers, putting their “survival” at risk, according to White.
The big five supermarkets were allegedly using “delay tactics” the most, according to a report from YouGov.
However, the Groceries Supply Code of Practice(GSCOP) does not permit the adjudicator to get involved in price-related disputes, he can take action over delays in payment.
The latest intervention follows the adjudicator’s publication of a set of “golden rules” in January, which all supermarkets voluntarily agreed to.
These included pledges for “clearer communication” about how long Consumer Price Inflation requests would take, as well as to give priority to the impact on smaller suppliers.
The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) said: “The GCA will be meeting the code compliance officers at the designated retailers in the coming weeks as part of his regular engagement with them.
“Whilst price is not covered by the Code, he will be speaking to the retailers about how they are negotiating with their suppliers and whether they are following the GCA’s golden rules.
“Concerns continue to be expressed about how the implementation of agreed price rises is being delayed, which could risk the viability of suppliers, and how buyers are engaging with their suppliers during these difficult negotiations.”
Source: Retail Gazette