The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has warned food and farming minister Lord Whitty that the inclusion of wholesalers in the Code of Practice would threaten small retailers and caterers. Director general Alan Toft said: "Wholesalers do not have access to the same terms and prices from suppliers as the supermarket chains. "Any legal impositions would affect the flexibility of wholesalers and therefore their profitability." He said the code could damage traditional trading practices such as retrospective discounts and promotional revenues. And Toft warned that any resulting erosion of the financial stability of wholesalers would undermine their ability to serve their customers ­ many of them small establishments in rural locations. Toft pointed out that 95% of supplies for wholesalers come from big brand grocery companies ­ not farmers. "We understand the need to protect farmers from superstore power but DEFRA is mistaken if it believes that wholesalers wield the same big stick," he said. He added: "We do not have any evidence of a single supplier, in any shape or form, complaining that he needed a code to protect him from wholesalers." {{NEWS }}