Asda has become the latest supermarket to pledge to slash the time it takes to pay smaller suppliers.

The retailer said it would switch to paying within 14 days as part of what it called its ongoing efforts to work more effectively with its supply base.

It said the move would benefit around 1,200 small suppliers that have up to £250,000 worth of business with Asda.

The first group of around 430 suppliers would move to the new terms tomorrow, having previously been on standard terms and conditions of 60 days, it said.

Asda follows hot on the heels of Morrisons, which announced its own move in March, shortening payment terms to 14 days for suppliers with up to £100,000 a year of business with the supermarket.

Last July Waitrose went a step further, bringing in a seven-day limit for suppliers with less than £100,000 of business.

Tesco began the process in October 2015 when it moved to pay within 14 days suppliers with up to £100,000 of business as part of a shakeup of trading terms by boss Dave Lewis.

Asda said the move would help suppliers alongside initiatives such as its Sustain and Save programme, which helps suppliers cut costs by sharing information on best practices in an app.

“Our relationship with our suppliers is vital to ensuring we can do the best job for our customers and we continue to focus on building strong partnerships with them, many of whom have been with us for decades. We’re always looking at ways we can work more effectively together and we believe it is the right thing to do to reduce our payment terms to 14 days for our smaller suppliers,” said an Asda spokeswoman.

Chartered Institute of Credit Management chief executive Philip King said: “Treating suppliers fairly by accelerating payments, simplifying terms and conditions, and offering supply chain finance are important tools for maintaining a strong customer/supplier relationship. Certainty of payment, and professional credit management, help businesses of all sizes to better plan for the future.”