Sir; We are surprised and disappointed to read that one of our suppliers feels it has been treated unfairly, as all our negotiations so far have been very cordial with a clear sense of fair play. Unfortunately it is difficult to comment on specifics as the author of the letter has chosen to remain anonymous and gives a simplified view of detailed negotiating procedures. We are talking to each supplier about individual terms according to the contracts they have with ourselves and Booker. As any business person will know, negotiations of this type are normal trading practice in the retail industry and we are constantly negotiating price movements as part of our promotional offer to customers. Following our merger with Booker we are at the beginning of negotiations with our larger joint suppliers in order to bring our cost base on a level with that of our major competitors. We have had our first, very structured initial meetings explaining the mutual benefits of how we propose to take both companies forward and we will be having a further two meetings with each supplier to finalise our agreements, with reasonable timescales given for responses. We have trusted relationships with our suppliers and this is only the beginning of the process, so if any suppliers do have concerns I am only too happy to talk through our plans with them personally. Our sales have grown by 30% over the last three years and our suppliers have enjoyed that growth. We want our suppliers to continue to enjoy further growth in the future. Steve Archdeacon Buying director Iceland {{LETTERS }}