Supply chain · 14 October 2016

Small UK suppliers urged to fill the Marmite gap?

Stocks of popular household products like Marmite have returned to Tesco
A leading small business members? association has encouraged smaller UK suppliers to take advantage of weaker exchange rates hitting stores like Tesco.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB), which represents more than 18, 000 small firms, urged its members to seize the opportunity to become supermarkets? preferred British-based suppliers as relations with larger multinational suppliers break down.

Ian Cass, managing director at the FPB, said in a statement: For too long major retail outlets have squeezed small suppliers both on terms and price, in favour of multinational suppliers like Unilever.

the impact of that strategy is now starting to bite and we are calling on large UK retailers to open their delivery doors to small UK producers once again, on transparent terms and prompt payment.

The call to action follows a dispute between Tesco and major supplier Unilever, after the supermarket refused to bare the cost of price rises for a range of popular household brands including Marmite and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

One of the nation’s largest food and household goods suppliers, Unilever’s prices rose by as much as 10 per cent for some products, with the company blaming the pound’s fall in value against the euro and dollar since the Brexit vote on 23 June.

As of 13 October, the dispute appeared to have been resolved, with both Tesco and Unilever agreeing terms to share the cost of price rises without passing it on to shoppers.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.