While Woolies and Coles tackle each other head-on in the current price war, suppliers to the two supermarket giants have dobbed them in to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for ''unconscionable conduct''.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported consumer watchdog chairman Rod Sims said the ACCC was approached by suppliers relating to the behaviour of the supermarkets.
This comes after Coles and Woolworths for the last year has been cutting prices on products including fresh produce, milk, bread, toilet paper and washing powder to win customers over. As a result, they have been accused by farmers and suppliers in the past that this strategy is cutting into their margins.
Last month, the ACCC vowed to the protect suppliers who came forward with information about bullying tactics used by the supermarket chains.
''We put out a call for any information. We have had some suppliers and companies approach us with information, and we are encouraged by the response so far,'' Sims told SMH.
In defence to these reports, a Woolworths spokesperson told RetailBiz: “We have not received any complains from the ACCC. As a responsible retailer we stand ready to discuss and resolve any issues that the ACCC would like to raise with us.”
The company has also launched Speak Up, an externally-hosted hotline for suppliers to report matters of a serious nature where the standard escalation procedures have either been exhausted or are not an option.
“This is part of Woolworths’ commitment to continuous improvement, transparency and accountability,” the spokesperson said.
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