The Forum of Private Business has blasted Sainsbury’s for increasing payment times for non-food suppliers.

According to the FPB, the retailer wrote to suppliers last month informing them that their payment times would increase from 30 days to 75 days.

“Sainsbury’s might like to promote themselves as the ethical supermarket, but when it comes to their treatment of suppliers they are anything but,” said Forum of Private Business policy adviser Robert Downes.

“No right-thinking person could justify what Sainsbury’s is proposing - a 150% increase in the time it takes them to pay a supplier for goods provided - as being fair and decent. With startling arrogance they have then tried to justify this increase by claiming 75 days is the industry standard. This is utter fabrication.”

The FPB has now written to Sainsbury’s to ask it to sign the government’s Prompt Payment Code, through which companies pledge to pay suppliers on time and to not change terms and conditions in the middle of a contract.

“We are hoping the Groceries Code Adjudicator, when it does eventually comes into being, will maybe deter supermarkets from acting like this - certainly for food suppliers - behaviour that we think is likely contrary to the Grocery Supply Code of Practice,” Downes added.