Asda has been voted the worst of the Big 4 supermarkets in terms of its treatment of suppliers for the second consecutive year.
According to the Groceries Code Adjudicator, which surveys 1000 suppliers and trade associations annually to determine which are breaking the code of practice, Asda was once again came behind its big rivals.
Eight per cent of the Walmart-owned supermarket said that Asda rarely or never complied with the legally binding code of practice, though this was a marked improvement on the year prior.
Though it was bottom of the Big 4 Iceland and the Co-op, which is currently under investigation by the Groceries Code Adjudicator for mistreatment of suppliers, performed worse.
This investigation relates to complained that Co-op cut ties with suppliers without fair notice, and could see the adjudicator fine Co-op one per cent of its annual sales.
Meanwhile Aldi was voted the best, and Tesco saw the biggest improvement. Conversely Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Iceland were voted most likely to have seen a deterioration over the last 12 months.
40 per cent of all suppliers surveyed said they suspected a supermarket of breaking the industry code, making significant progress on the 80 per cent reported a year prior.
The key issues reported were delayed payments and forecasting errors and problems with delisting when items were removed from sale.
A further four retailers could be added to the list next year, including Amazon and Boots.
The results come after suppliers and MPs voiced concerns about the proposed tie up between Asda and Sainsbury’s.
The pair pledged to cut the price of everyday goods by 10 per cent, but head of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Neil Parish said that the only way this could happen is if the newly formed company dropped half of their suppliers, keeping just the cheapest.
“How on earth can you save 10 per cent and tell us in this committee that you are going to run two separate (businesses)?,” he said.
“If you’re going to make anywhere near 10 per cent in a hugely competitive market you’re going to take the model of the cheapest buying.”
A spokesman for Asda added: “Our suppliers are a vital part of our business and we are pleased that this year’s report recognises the improvements that Asda has made over the past 12 months. We remain determined to improve even further and build on our strong partnership with our suppliers.”