Sunday, April 20, 2008

Asda wants foreign suppliers excluded from ethics rules

The UK's Competition Commission has recommended creation of a set of ethical guidelines to prevent retailers from using their clout to mistreat suppliers. Asda has said they want foreign suppliers excluded from the rules.

The UK's second biggest grocer has included the demand in its response to the Competition Commission's remedies report, published in February after a two-year inquiry into the £125 billion grocery market.

The Commission provisionally recommended that grocers set up an ombudsman service to help protect small suppliers and farmers and said supermarkets may be forced to appoint compliance officers to ensure they treat suppliers in accordance with a new and wide-ranging code of practice, the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.

If I were a foreign supplier to Asda, this request would make me a bit nervous: What exactly does Asda have in mind doing to me that they don't want the ombudsman to know about?

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