Name one thing to prevent retail corruption - The Packer

Name one thing to prevent retail corruption

05/21/2012 07:23:00 AM
Tom Karst

Coverage of the corruption in the UK tied to a potato supplier's bribery of a buyer at Sainsbury's continues to draw industry interest.

National Editor Tom KarstIn this story from the Grantham Journal, the finance director for the potato supplier who authorized the payments to the retailer insisted he did not think the money involved was a bribe. Perhaps basing his rationalization on the correct premise that no marketer ever successfully wined and dined a buyer at McDonald's, the finance director attributed the cash outflow to the Sainsbury's buyer as simply "hugely excessive entertaining."

The distinction between "entertainment" and bribery must be made with clarity, but looking back through the library of The Packer, I find very little discussion of the topic in the multitude of industry education sessions at the countless trade shows through the years. Why have we not heard more discussion on this issue that strikes so close to the heart of produce marketing?

I asked the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group this question:

What is one thing that a retail buying organization can do to prevent possible corruption/bribery issues in relationships between its buyers and fresh produce suppliers?

We have 14 comments so far, and members have looked the the issue from the angle of relationships, company policy, the concept of rotating buyers, third party audits to evaluate pricing and markets and more. Add your voice to the discussion for this critical topic.


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Central Valley, California  |  May, 31, 2012 at 12:34 PM

You have no comments because NO ONE will admit to what has gone on for more than 20 years. There is a hugh nationwide chain that has a buyer in a critical location for fresh fruit, and if you don't pay, you have no sales. PERIOD. About 15 years ago a grower complained to the top management of this chain, and nothing happened. The buyer is still there. This is outrageous. But really, what's the difference between paying for ads to get placement, or just paying cash? Everyone pays the chains for eye level placement in the ailes, it just is in a different form. What do you think would happen if we went to the public about what programs/cash must be set up/paid for their local chain to carry our nation's produce?

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