Lidl sued for £2.6m by grocer | Lidl

Fruit and vegetable supplier Lidl is being sued for £2.6m after the discount chain was wrongfully cut out of a deal in a series of actions it says “destroyed our business”.

Procter & Associates, which once supplied Lidl with up to 57 different varieties of fruit and vegetables, has filed a High Court petition saying it had to cease trading after the German-owned discount retailer canceled several of its products, including its produce. Asparagus, squash, chili, apples, plums, and broccoli, without advertising and hunting proctor vendors.

Dean Proctor, managing director of Proctor & Associates, said: “We have built our business around the needs of Lidl. Still, I feel Liddle has stabbed him in the back. They took away our suppliers and cut us out of the deal without warning.

“I think Lidl has destroyed our business over the last eight years. Suppliers are afraid to do anything because Lidl might cancel them. Leads are not above the law. They should be considered by suppliers and GCA [the Groceries Code Adjudicator]He said.

In one instance cited by the Grocer Trade Journal, which first reported the matter, Procter & Associates said it had supplied the squash to Lidl for 11 years until 2019, when the retailer stopped the order without warning and used a third party. The product is from Proctor’s main supplier, RE Stacey.

In the year In 2019, Lidl reportedly went directly to Proctor’s main supplier for soups and stews, Frederick Hime Farms, cutting Proctor out of the loop.

The lawsuit says such practices violate the Grocery Delivery Code, a set of rules that large retailers must adhere to in dealing with suppliers. The rules mean that the GCA – currently Mark White – can carry out investigations and fines of up to 1% of UK sales if they find wrongdoing.

It allowed Proctor to claim compensation for business losses, because instead of calling for the intervention of a judge, it is understood that he filed a private legal case with the help of the law firm Gordons.

GCA said it would not comment on Proctor’s claims because of the ongoing legal case.

Earlier this month, White said he had “intensified” talks with supermarkets, in part because of concerns about products being withdrawn without justification.

In a GCA survey of 2,500 suppliers published in June, one in five suppliers said they had a problem with products being canceled without reason. Lidl came last in the survey.

A Lidl spokesman said: “We are in the process of assessing the claim and will respond in due course.”

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