Pass on the increases Cash & carry operator

?Costs will undoubtedly continue to rise and we will have to pass on supplier price increases and work extremely hard to mitigate our own increased costs. But wholesalers and independents won't necessarily suffer at the hands of the multiples just because of rising food prices. Indeed people on limited budgets and in the current environmental climate may prefer to shop little and often locally. Suppliers are working closely with the trade to deliver better margins but this is mainly limited to price-marked packs. With the current grandstanding by the multiples over price and promotions we might have been concerned about the waterbed effect had we not been told by the Competition Commission that it doesn't exist.

Suppliers must be fair Buying group

?Rising costs have to be passed on to customers. We are a low-margin sector and there is no other choice if we are to stay in business, There is no reason why wholesalers should be impacted on any more heavily than anyone else in the sector. That is, of course, as long as suppliers apply increases equally and fairly. We need them to stand up and be counted in terms of a fair approach to all customers. For the most part our supplier relations remain positive and we have not had any major issues with suppliers trying to take advantage of the situation. At the end of the day customers will shop for value and may well trade down but that still offers independents and therefore wholesalers a different opportunity.

Pretty gloomy for all Cash & carry/foodservice operator

?Energy bills will cause life to become a lot more difficult. One section of our business is expected to undergo a rise in energy costs of 78% due to the hike in gas prices. Fortunately however, we are all in the same boat: suppliers, wholesalers, retailers and consumers. The problem we as wholesalers have is that, as it is not always possible to pass on the cost to the consumer, we have to get even better at watching our costs. This really is the only area where we can make any savings. Its pretty gloomy all round but people do still have to eat and that is what will keep this industry alive. We have to continue to be more creative at how we manage the whole process. We are all watching our margins and looking to squeeze as much as we can.