Sugro UK has urged suppliers to brush up on their communication skills and rethink their promotions to offer all wholesalers a level playing field.

Speaking at the buying group's annual conference in Cardiff last week, MD Philip Jenkins told suppliers they needed to learn more about their wholesalers and improve communication. "We need to make sure we are aware of what's happening, then pick up the phone and follow it through," he told members and suppliers.

Members agreed that although their relationship with suppliers was "generally OK", reps at a local level were "not well informed" and often only given a few months to learn about a wholesaler before moving on to another client.

One wholesaler claimed suppliers were cancelling orders if a company temporarily breached a credit limit, but that wholesalers were not aware of this until they chased the order.

"This is a daft situation," Jenkins said. "Suppliers should be contacting them to find out why, not cancelling without explanation."

Suppliers were failing to offer the same deals or stock to everyone, he added. Independent retailers served by Sugro UK wholesalers were "fantastic" at supporting new product development, but other retailers were being offered stock a week earlier in some cases, he said.

Suppliers countered the claims by calling on wholesalers to tell them how they were communicating information about ranges, promotions and consumer pick up to independent retailers. Wholesalers should also be encouraging retailers to buy more than one case of stock, they said.