Asda, the UK arm of Wal-Mart, has embarked on a fresh round of negotiations in a bid to get suppliers to drop their prices.

Price competition between UK supermarkets has intensified as economic conditions have prompted consumers to cutback spending. Suppliers have therefore come under increasing pressure from retailers to lower prices in order to fund discounting initiatives.

“We are always negotiating with our manufacturers to get the best possible prices on behalf of our customers,” a spokesperson for Asda told just-food. “We are firm but fair in our dealings.”

It is understood that suppliers under scrutiny include various multinationals, including consumer goods giant Unilever.

“Bare in mind this is large multinational businesses not small local suppliers or farmers,” the spokesperson revealed.

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Unilever was recently embroiled in a pricing row in Belgium, which saw Delhaize delist 250 of its products in February.