BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Saturday, 11 August 2007, 23:40 GMT 00:40 UK
Supermarkets 'are too powerful'
Shopping trolley
80% of food suppliers believe supermarkets have too much power
The majority of UK food suppliers believe supermarkets wield too much power, according to a survey.

The report by Grant Thornton says 25% of suppliers have had an order greatly reduced or cancelled by supermarkets at short notice, without compensation.

Around 80% expect more supply firms to go bust, with over half of those blaming the supermarkets.

But the British Retail Consortium says competition and rising costs are also causing hardship among suppliers.

The survey from the accountancy firm reveals 80% of food suppliers say supermarkets are too powerful.

'Unreasonable practices'

It suggests two-thirds of suppliers do not have formal contract terms with supermarkets, which can result in last-minute changes and complications.

A fifth of all suppliers also said supermarkets have extended the time they take to pay up, while almost 80% of suppliers said they had been put under pressure to lower prices.

Grant Thornton says while supermarkets in most cases behave as any reputable business would, unreasonable practices do occur, putting a financial strain on suppliers.

Defending the supermarkets, the British Retail Consortium says the report mentions other factors causing hardship to suppliers.

And it also points to the current Competition Commission investigation into supermarkets, which it says has so far found no evidence of market abuse.

Are supermarkets too powerful?
Not sure
8100 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Supermarkets 'abusing position'
27 Apr 07 |  Business
UK grocers face competition probe
22 Jan 07 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific