Top executives of Safeway and the NFU were expected to hold "clear the air" talks as The Grocer went to press in response to complaints the multiple had been demanding "up front cash payments" from fruit suppliers. Safeway had slammed what it called "various and anonymous rumours being peddled in the trade" that it had made "outrageous" cash demands. (The Grocer, last week, p4). However the multiple had said it was looking into a specific complaint made to the NFU by Robin Pooley, chairman of English Apples and Pears, that six suppliers had been asked for cash sums ranging between £50,000 and £700,000. The NFU said demands of this type were "unacceptable and crassly stupid". It revealed this week that it had raised the issue with the OFT. However, later, NFU director general Richard Macdonald told The Grocer the multiple had indeed undertaken an internal investigation, after which it had given an assurance the matter involved an individual buyer who had acted outside Safeway's own rules and "appropriate action" had been taken. This was later confirmed by Safeway's director of communications Kevin Hawkins. {{NEWS }}