The consolidation of Argentinean supermarket chains in recent years led to a series of disputes between food retailers and their suppliers. In order to overcome the friction, the chambers representing both groups cooperated in developing a “code of good business practices.” It is expected that the code will overcome some unfair practices that have tarnished the image of both supermarkets and their suppliers.

Practices that the code will address include a trend among some large supermarket chains to make unilateral changes in agreements with suppliers, such as extending the grace period for payment. The code also prohibits retailers from implementing unauthorized sales, which could have a negative impact on the image of a brand.

Perhaps the greatest value of the code of ethics is that it has broken down longstanding barriers to communication between the association of supermarkets and that of suppliers. Both sides agree that improved cooperation and logistical coordination between the two groups will ultimately benefit the final consumer.

By Steve Lewis, correspondent