Federation of Wholesale Distributors chairman Rodney Hunt has called on the Office of Fair Trading to refer Tesco's bid for T&S Stores to the Competition Commission.
Speaking at the FWD annual dinner, Hunt said Tesco's turnover in grocery was larger than the entire wholesaling sector, and Tesco could use this buying power to squeeze better terms from T&S suppliers.
He warned that if Tesco launched a local price war, suppliers and local retailers would suffer.
He added: "I am sure that everyone in this room will hope the OFT will not simply look at the situation as it is now, but will anticipate what could happen in the years ahead if it nods through the acquisition.
"By referring the bid, the OFT will give the Competition Commission a constructive opportunity to ensure fair competition will exist between small and big business in the 21st century."
Later Hunt presented the FWD Gold Medals for 2002:
Young wholesaler of the year ­ independent: Zahier and Tanvier Ahmed, directors, BA C&C
Young wholesaler of the year ­ multiple: David Bryant-Pugh, marketing manager, DBC Foodservice
Wholesaler service to retailers: Farhat Abbas, marketing executive, Bestway C&C and Lee Furness, MD of WH & HM Young
Wholesaler service to caterers: Richard Frost, operations director, Blakemore Foodservice
C&C manager ­ multiple: Peter Turner, general manager, Booker (Blackburn)
C&C manager ­ independent: Athif Sarwar, MD, United Wholesale (Scotland)
Delivered depot manager ­ multiple: Phil Mullins, general manager 3663 (Stowmarket)
Delivered depot manager ­ independent: Steve Turner, MD,, Turner & Wrights (Bolton)
Service to the industry: Phil Caddick, general manager, Parfetts Cash & Carry (Aintree)

{{NEWS }}