Wholesalers remain determined to call for the government to regulate supermarkets, despite the health of their own sector.
The Grocer last week revealed that 21 of the UK’s 30 biggest wholesalers had grown their business during 2005.
Our second annual The Big 30 survey also revealed that only six of the leading wholesalers suffered a decline in sales last year.
Despite this, a poll of the same wholesalers this week revealed unanimity in their conviction that the government needs to take action against the leading supermarkets.
One leading wholesaler said: “There is a need for regulation now more than ever. Short-term attitudes are part of the problem. The long-term picture is clear. It must be addressed.”
The majority (86%) believed the wholesale sector would not remain as healthy without intervention. But there was a big split as to whether they expected a positive outcome from pressure for regulation.
Only 43% said they expected that current campaigns would make the government think again, while the remainder said they were not expecting a positive outcome.
When asked about the prospects for this year, 71% said that they could see the market growing. However, this could come at a cost as 86% said that they envisaged further consolidation in the sector.
Payment service provider Payzone has added rechargeable prepaid international calling cards to its network, which will give retailers commission rates of up to 40%.

MPs have criticised the government’s plans to offer GP services in supermarkets. Former health secretary Frank Dobson said: “There must be the same danger that supermarket GPs will mean more local surgeries will close in urban and rural areas.”

Procter & Gamble’s supply chain hiccup with its Bounty branded kitchen towel appears to have been resolved. The product received full pick up at all six of the major multiples in The Grocer shopping survey 33 this week.

The Waste & Resources Action Programme is looking to dish out more of its £8m innovation fund to retailers and manufacturers. A share will be given to retailers or major brands to fund innovative projects that will lead to a reduction of packaging and food waste in the home.

M&S has become the first major UK retailer to sell a Fairtrade clothing range. The range, which will be launched in March in conjunction with a campaign called ‘Look behind the label’, will include t-shirts and socks made from 100% Fairtrade cotton.

Leading retailers, including Tesco and Sainsbury, have joined forces to try and stop a Brussels inquiry into whether China is selling plastic bags in Europe at below-market price. The retailers say the case should be stopped as it does not meet EU rules of qualifying for an investigation.
Ronan Hegarty
40% commission
surgery threat
bounty full
cutting waste
fairtrade first
bags of concern