The bigger player is the scarier, according to grocery suppliers.
21 percent of Norwegians Grocery suppliersGrocery suppliersCompanies that deliver food, beverages, and other grocery products to retail chains. Examples of major suppliers include Tine, Nortura, Orkla, Ringnes and Mills. He answers that Norgesgruppen “said words or carried out actions that caused great fear to me personally or to my company.”
This was revealed in the annual survey on the negotiation climate in the industry, conducted by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Norgesgruppen’s score is the highest among grocery chains. 21 percent is one percentage point more than last year.
16 and 14 percent answered the same for Coop and Rema 1000 respectively, and Coop’s score improved significantly from last year, when one in four said they experienced extreme fear.
– If 15 to 20 percent think they have been exposed to a serious fear, that is a large number, says Tor Erik Ingebretsen, director of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
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The younger players Bonpress and Oda are viewed very differently. Only three percent of Bonpress partners answer yes to the fear question, while no Oda suppliers said they felt serious fear in negotiations.
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The result of excluding Norgesgruppen, Coop or Rema 1000 could mean that the supplier loses access to more than a thousand stores.
– It’s a real fear. And also because you know that the consequences for your career are there. So it’s natural to feel this fear, because what we’re doing is exposing the supplier that comes to us to competition, says Norgesgruppen communications manager Stein Römerod.
Therefore, he will distinguish between “commercial fear” and other unjustified fears.
The Danish Food Safety Authority has tried to do something similar.
We want to separate the fear related to market power from the fear of being subjected to illegal action. Then we see that market power explains a lot, but it doesn’t explain everything, says Ingebretsen.
He says the final report on the negotiating climate, which will be published later this year, will highlight this to a greater extent.
– Of course not satisfied
Ingvil Storksen, director of policy and government relations at Coop Norge, says it would be a mistake to comment on the numbers in detail before seeing the final report.
She confirms that they do not recognize themselves in any mention of the culture of fear.
– However, it is not normal for suppliers to have a place on the shelves, and we understand that it can be difficult not to reach out and succeed in the competition.
Coop created its own trade customs officer, Storksen says, specifically to be able to handle inappropriate behavior.
– Suppliers who believe they are vulnerable to such actions can contact us here. No such inquiries have been received so far.
Line Aarnes, Category and Procurement Manager at Rema 1000, says they experience having a good and constructive dialogue with their partners. Regarding the question of fear of suppliers, she commented:
– Of course, we are not happy if someone encounters something like this in their meeting with us. We’ll take a closer look at the results of this survey once it’s ready.
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There are no notification instances
Norgesgruppen is interested in learning more about what lies behind the numbers, Romrod says. However, he feels confident that the reported concerns are a natural result of difficult negotiations.
– There is a certain dynamic in the process of buying and selling goods, where there is one buyer and one seller. Then there will always be energy that someone may see as negative.
He says that Norgesgruppen has its own notification system. There, suppliers can report whether they have been subjected to unjustified fear. You can also notify the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
– We have not received any such case. “So my interpretation of this is that it has to do with commercial fear,” Rumrod says.
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Most feared and most admired
At the same time that Norgesgruppen generates the most fear, it is the business organization that suppliers prefer to negotiate with the most. This was also the case last year.
78% of suppliers agree that collaboration depends primarily on honesty, predictability and loyalty.
For Coop and Rema 1000, the percentage is 68 and 63 percent, respectively.
– We rely on good and professional cooperation with suppliers. “When we are ranked as the best here, it means we have succeeded in that strategy,” Romerod says.
He stresses that this does not mean that the Norwegian group is easy to meet for negotiations.
-We can be strong in asking. I interpret this poll to mean that we are doing things right.
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