Relations between suppliers and grocers | Loblaw finally adheres to the Code of Conduct

After opposing it for a long time, Loblaw (Provigo, Maxi) finally decided to support the Code of Conduct aimed at cleaning up relations between suppliers and grocers.

The famous document, which required more than two years of work, would make it possible in particular to avoid “surprise invoices” that retailers sometimes send to their suppliers of biscuits, juice or tomato sauce, for example, by demanding fees to finance a new loyalty program, a late delivery or even damaged products.

“We have worked intensively with various stakeholders within the industry to ensure that the Code is written clearly and is fair to all stakeholders,” said Per Bank, president and CEO of Loblaw, in a press release released Thursday.

He took the opportunity at the same time to call out Walmart, the other brand recalcitrant to the idea of ​​giving the green light to the Code. IGA, Metro and Costco had already announced their intention to support it.


Loblaw President and CEO Per Bank

We believe in the relevance of a code governing our industry and we are happy with the progress made.

Per Bank, President and CEO of Loblaw

“ [L]has ratification [du Code] nevertheless requires the participation of all major retailers and suppliers if we wish to see the food retail industry in Canada enter a new era where retailers and suppliers can maintain better relationships, in the interest of consumers”, emphasized Mr. Bank.

After the warnings

In an official statement sent by email to The Press, Walmart has not come forward on its intentions. “We have just received the latest revised draft of the Grocery Code of Conduct, which was not previously communicated to us. We will review it and determine next steps. As we have always said, we continue to focus on the fundamental interests of our customers. »

For his part, Michael Graydon, chair of the Interim Code of Conduct Committee, applauded Loblaw’s decision.

“The fact that Loblaw has agreed to adhere to the Grocer Code of Conduct is excellent news,” said Mr. Graydon.

Within such a complex ecosystem, the vision has always been to achieve a voluntary and inclusive Code, developed by the food industry and managed by its stakeholders throughout the supply chain.

Michael Graydon, Chair of the Interim Code of Conduct Committee

“We have moved one step closer to implementing the Code as we continue to work with all industry partners to ensure maximum participation from all stakeholders,” he added. .

In February, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture issued a warning to Loblaw and Walmart to convince them to sign the Code of Conduct. “While we prefer that you voluntarily adopt the Code, we believe that a decision by any of you not to participate in the Code would jeopardize its full effectiveness. In such a case, the Committee will not hesitate to recommend to the federal government and the provinces to adopt a law to make it compulsory,” the Committee then wrote, in the letter addressed jointly to Per Bank and Gonzalo Gebara, president and CEO of Walmart.

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