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ACCC raises concerns about supermarket delisting notices

Staff Writer | November 9, 2016
Supermarkets need to improve the way they notify suppliers when delisting their products to avoid breaching the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.
Australia supermarket
Down Under   Supermarkets must inform the supplier of their right
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said that at the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s forum in Canberra.

The Code provides default protections to all Aldi, Coles and Woolworths suppliers as of July 1 this year. Under the Code, supermarkets can only delist a supplier’s product for genuine commercial reasons and must give reasonable written notice.

Supermarkets must also inform the supplier of their right to have decisions reviewed by a senior buyer.

Mr Sims said the ACCC has raised its concerns with Aldi, Coles and Woolworths following recent compliance checks known as Code audits.

“Some delist notices did not give suppliers reasonable notice; the worst examples were delistings that appear to have occurred on the same day as the notice was served,” Mr Sims said.

“Some delist notices did not include any real reasons for delisting and where reasons were provided, they were typically very general in nature.”

“In some instances, retailers largely cited a failure to meet ‘commercial sales or profitability targets’ without providing any real detail,” Mr Sims said.

Sims said the ACCC is looking at these concerns closely and expects the supermarkets to address them quickly.

He said the delisting notices and other issues raised in the AFGC survey were disappointing as the supermarkets are working to make real and positive changes to their dealings with suppliers.