John Wood Nisa-Today's founder and chairman Dudley Ramsden has fired the latest salvo in his battle for a single unified wholesale buying group to represent the independent sector. As Nisa-Today's prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in two weeks time, Ramsden argued that merging Landmark Cash and Carry into his group would benefit not just the entire independent wholesale sector, but independent retailers as well, but he claimed Landmark refused to consider such a move. Ramsden said: "I have advocated for long enough that there ought to be one buying group within the independent sector because one independent buying group is going to have far more clout and would be feared far more by the manufacturers than two independent buying groups." He claimed that Landmark's operation cost far more than his to operate, adding: "We could absorb Landmark at no extra cost to our organisation and that would then strip several million pounds out of the running cost their members have to pay. You strip out cost, you've got more volume to negotiate with, you've got to improve your buying terms." Ramsden emphasised that he believed such a move would benefit independent retailers, and pointed out that he too was an independent retailer. He said: "I don't think it's in the interests of independent wholesalers collectively that we are not talking with one voice and, if you follow that line through, it is not in the interests of independent retailers who those people service. "If you put two substantial pieces of volume together you will, in some cases, improve terms. You can then improve terms for the retail customers." Ramsden said Landmark had made it abundantly clear' that talk of a merger or a takeover is not on the agenda. A Landmark spokesman described Ramsden's remarks as "regrettable" and said the group would respond more fully at a later date. {{NEWS }}