The CEO of leading coconut juice brand Vita Coco has bemoaned fellow suppliers who complain about “unfair” treatment at the hands of Tesco.
Giles Brook told the Daily Telegraph that the threshold of “whinging” suppliers has been exceeded, and reportedly added that these companies “wouldn’t have a business at all” without the supermarket giant.
Brook's reported comments come in the wake of a damning report from the Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA), which noted that Tesco had “seriously breached a legally binding code to protect groceries suppliers” and “prioritised” its own finances over the fair treatment of its suppliers.
Nevertheless, Brook told the Telegraph: “The UK’s number one supermarket has had a bit of a slamming, but I’m going to give you a different spin on it. There are far too many suppliers whinging about how supermarkets treat them.
“It’s a tough economic climate out there, and too many suppliers are bleating about the retailers. Most people would have a business without the supermarkets. I’m hearing a lot of whinging about unfair treatment, but you have a choice at the end of the day.”
According to the GCA review, Tesco deliberately delayed payments to suppliers, or overcharged them, in a bid to boost profit.
But Brook told the Telegraph: “Business is business. Tesco has to report to its shareholders”.
Vita Coco - worth around £80 million - has slashed its prices in a bid to help Tesco boost sales, according to Brook, who added: “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the supermarkets. We have a responsibility to our retailers to help them get through these times.”