Parfett boss wants a break: I have to ask suppliers whether they actually want alternative routes to market' Parfett blasts second class treatment' Camilla Palmer Leading wholesalers have slammed suppliers for continuing to treat them as second-class citizens and claim they run the risk of forever being the multiples' poor relations. AG Parfett md Steven Parfett said it was up to the sector to convince and educate suppliers that the independent sector was a viable route to market and "full of opportunities". He told delegates at this years' Federation of Wholesale Distributors' conference he was fed up of watching suppliers such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever culling their brands as a response to the demands of multiple category managers. "The drastic pruning of ranges does nothing to address consumer choice," he said. "I have to ask suppliers whether they actually want alternative routes to market and to take advantage of the network of independent stores in this country?" He was backed by Booker marketing director Steve Sharp who slammed suppliers for favouring the multiples when it came to new product launches. "When KitKat Chunky was launched, it was everywhere in the multiples ­ but we were rationed. And so consumers were too." Parfett said he was left stranded by P&G after the company failed to allocate him stocks of Sunny Delight after the product's high profile launch. "They delivered a load to us by mistake and we sold the lot in 24 hours," he said. But Parfett was bullish about how good communication could help wholesalers and suppliers come to a truce, urging suppliers to keep high-calibre graduates in wholesale account management: "Fox's Biscuits axed its entire wholesale team," he said. "P&G gives us three graduates a year ­ two good ones are moved on within a year to bigger and better' multiple accounts. And we start the education process again with the next lot," he added. * See page 10 {{NEWS }}