John Wood Group Trading Alliance (GTA) ­ the multi billion pound buying group which negotiates overrider terms from major suppliers for Spar and Landmark ­ is being disbanded. All new trading arrangements will be negotiated individually by Landmark in Milton Keynes and Spar UK in Harrow. Bosses of the two groups said the decision was taken because their needs were changing and diverging. Just last week, there were hints in The Grocer that changes were about to take place. Steve Parfett, chairman of Landmark and managing director of AG Parfett & Sons, said wholesalers had to embrace change and adopt "New World terms for New World activity", while Spar md Jerry Marwood revealed he was looking to significantly strengthen his buying team. Peter Blakemore, chairman of GTA and managing director of Spar distributor and Landmark Cash & Carry operator AF Blakemore & Son, said: "As the requirements of Spar and Landmark change ­ particularly with Spar moving down disciplined routes of retailing and Landmark embracing its Wholesale Vision' to serve the interests of unaffiliated independent retailers and caterers ­ it became clear that separate negotiation strategies would be needed. "However, our 17-year association will continue, albeit in a less formal manner." Parfett said: "GTA has contributed substantially to our success, helping us to build a real competitive advantage. The roll out of the Wholesale Vision' process has highlighted the great opportunity in working with customers and suppliers to a new business agenda that looks to securing the future of the independent trade through a series of new initiatives." {{NEWS }}