FGC has no evidence to support allegations large supermarkets are potentially pressuring suppliers over pricing.
Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley said this in response to media inquiries after online grocery retailer Supie claimed some suppliers appeared to be putting pressure on Supie to increase food prices.
She suggested the two large supermarket operators were behind that.
NewstalkZB reported she told investors by email it was making an impact on the market, but “we’re seeing the push back from this with multiple suppliers reaching out to us concerned that our prices are competitive with the duopoly (Foodstuffs and Woolworths) and demanding that we increase retail pricing, despite maintaining reasonable profit margins.”
Raewyn Bleakley said when FGC was made aware of Supie’s concerns, she responded by “promptly reminding members of their obligations under the law and providing them with the Commerce Commission’s guidance on this issue”.
“The issue of resale price maintenance is a serious infringement of the Commerce Act – even if it is due to retailer pressure – and we were concerned to urgently make sure the supplier sector understands this and its obligations around it.
“The Commerce Commission guidance is very thorough and very clear.
“In addition, we will be running a webinar later this month on this issue, as well as on the Commission’s recent guidance on the misuse of power.
“This is a highly competitive market and suppliers are under pressure on many fronts, which means they have to be more mindful of what they can and cannot do.
“No suppliers have reported to NZFGC any pressure on pricing from the major retailers at this time. We will continue to work with our members as the Grocery Code of Conduct is introduced.”