FSB calling for show of support
SMALL businesses in Huntingdonshire are outraged by comments attributed to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that it is prepared to see them go to the wall. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written to John Fingleton, OFT chief executive, after
SMALL businesses in Huntingdonshire are outraged by comments attributed to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that it is prepared to see them go to the wall.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has written to John Fingleton, OFT chief executive, after he was reported to have said that he was ready to see small British suppliers squeezed out of business by powerful supermarkets so long as savings were passed on to consumers.
Mr Fingleton also dismissed the idea that the supermarket code of conduct, set up as a voluntary code to ensure the fair treatment of suppliers by the supermarkets, should be rigorously policed.
The FSB said Mr Fingleton's reported comments showed a lack of understanding of what was going on in the grocery market.
"Effective competition always takes in other factors beside cost," the Federation said. "Supermarket suppliers suffer from late payment, one-sided changes to contract terms and payment below the cost of production. An effective regulator would be seeking to stop this, rather than ignoring it."
FSB Huntingdonshire's Michael Mealing said: "Bringing in goods from abroad will be more expensive in the long term because of higher transport costs, plus the additional impact on CO2 emissions.
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"And once there are no UK competitors left, there will be no pressure to keep costs down. The OFT should be ensuring that all parts of our economy can function properly.