Groceries code adjudicator Mark White has intensified discussions with retailers about how to deal with cost price increase (CPI) requests from suppliers following concern over retailers’ excessive requests for information, a lack of communication around predicted timelines, inexperienced buyers who are not being supported – which delays negotiations – and delayed implementation of agreed price rises.
Requests for cost price increases are a commercial matter and outside the scope of the code, but Mr White has drawn up seven ‘golden rules’ from observations of instances where retailers have dealt well with requests. Retailers have agreed through the golden rules the poor practices they want to avoid, he said, “so I encourage suppliers experiencing these issues to contact the retailer’s code compliance officer, me or my team.”
He said he had also heard of buyers claiming a 12-week notice period for requests was a code requirement. “This mirrors inaccurate rumours about appropriate notice periods given to suppliers whose products are being de-listed,” he said. “There is no 12-week period prescribed in the code for either CPIs or de-lists.”
Mr White said one quarter of suppliers highlighted retailer responses to CPIs in his annual survey last year, making it the most raised issue in the last five years. His 2023 survey launched in January and will close on February 26.
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