Your article ‘suppliers: fines from Waitrose are an abuse’ really touched a raw nerve. Waitrose is systematically fining for late deliveries, without the opportunity to explain or justify the incident before the fine is issued. The industry barometer for ‘green service’, set by Tesco and the other major retailers, is for 90% of orders to be delivered on time.

No other retailer issues a fine for a delivery being late, though an action plan would have to be presented for consistent poor performance. There are times when Waitrose, too, runs late and keeps the (very expensive) delivery vehicle for hours. It goes without saying there is no system for crediting hauliers for loss of earnings.

Ultimately, moving fines around the supply chain will only result in costs being channelled downstream to the consumer. Waitrose’s strategy will increase potential waste as we and other suppliers look to deliver less frequently and reduce risk, which will reduce availability.

If Waitrose were splitting the £60 fine among all suppliers on the vehicle, we could almost understand it and work with the challenge. However, patent backdoor profiteering is not something the industry can just stand by and observe.

Name and address supplied