Anglo Dutch food giant Unilever is being accused of ‘blackmailing’ British supermarket group Tesco by withdrawing more than 200 products from its shelves after the supermarket refused to agree to a 10% price hike.
Unilever says it has been forced to increase prices as a result of the falling value of the pound in the wake of the Brexit referendum.
However major supermarket chains such as Tesco have rejected the higher prices – prompting Unilever to halt deliveries to its stores, the Guardian reported.
This means popular products such as PG Tips tea bags and Persil washing powder will not be restocked when the shelves are empty, the paper said.
The paper quotes chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly as saying price increases to offset rising costs are a normal part of doing business and that he is confident the dispute with Tesco will be solved quickly.
The Guardian said Unilever is thought to have tried to charge more from other retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. ‘Unilever is using Brexit as an excuse to raise prices, even on products that are made in the UK,’ a source told the paper.
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