Coverage of the corruption in the UK tied to a potato supplier's bribery of a buyer at Sainsbury's continues to draw industry interest.

Name one thing to prevent retail corruptionIn this story from the Grantham Journal, the finance director for the potato supplier who authorized the payments to the retailer insisted he did not think the money involved was a bribe. Perhaps basing his rationalization on the correct premise that no marketer ever successfully wined and dined a buyer at McDonald's, the finance director attributed the cash outflow to the Sainsbury's buyer as simply "hugely excessive entertaining."

The distinction between "entertainment" and bribery must be made with clarity, but looking back through the library of The Packer, I find very little discussion of the topic in the multitude of industry education sessions at the countless trade shows through the years. Why have we not heard more discussion on this issue that strikes so close to the heart of produce marketing?

I asked the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group this question:

What is one thing that a retail buying organization can do to prevent possible corruption/bribery issues in relationships between its buyers and fresh produce suppliers?

We have 14 comments so far, and members have looked the the issue from the angle of relationships, company policy, the concept of rotating buyers, third party audits to evaluate pricing and markets and more. Add your voice to the discussion for this critical topic.


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