from K Pretel, Birmingham

Sir; With reference to your article about foreign stock coming into the UK (‘Nescafé with a different taste and at half the price’, The Grocer, January 21, p10), I would like to point out this is only the tip of the iceberg.
I have a small shop in the heart of Birmingham and I know I speak for every independent retailer when I say we are constantly pressured by manufacturers and cash and carries to increase our prices.
This is impossible when you have to compete with cheap imports every day. We are constantly fighting to compete with supermarket prices and now have to deal with this issue.
My brother has a shop in Liverpool that he has run for many years. However, his turnover has declined and he is now thinking of packing it all in.
He firmly believes his trade is down due to discounters such as Jack Fulton. It has every single brand possible at less than half the rsp. How can you compete when it is selling Kellogg, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Mars and Cadbury products and many more at half the price?
This has been a topic of conversation with retailers at our local Booker depot. How can anyone expect small businesses like us to survive?
Suppliers should spend less time demanding that honest, hardworking people such as myself and my friends increase our prices and spend more time penalising supermarkets that sell cheap stock.