Loblaw suppliers balk at compliance fines

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Cos. is fully reinstating fines on suppliers for light shipments, which it suspended in March as demand became unpredictable. The grocery giant had begun to phase fines in again in June while still allowing for light shipments when demand soared above forecasts. “Today, we all have a much better sense of how to operate in current conditions, including throughout our supply chain,” Loblaw spokesperson Catherine Thomas said in an email. Vendor representatives disagree. “We’re not back to normal,” said Michael Graydon, head of Food, Health and Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP).

“Sometimes the fine is greater than the margin generated from the order, so you actually lose money on the order,” Graydon explained. “The manufacturer has to make a decision: Do I send the medium-size order to the independent who has no compliance fines, or do I send the complete order to the large retailer?”