Maharashtra: FMCG distributors call off stir against HUL, to continue action against Colgate
The All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF) said in a statement that the distributors would continue to boycott certain products of Colgate as the oral care company has not come forward for talks
New Delhi: FMCG distributors on Tuesday suspended their boycott of certain brands of HUL in Maharashtra after talks with the company over issues of price disparity between the traditional distributors and organised business-to-business channel.
However, the distributors would continue to boycott certain products of Colgate as the oral care company has not come forward for talks, the All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF) said in a statement.
On Monday, a meeting was held with HUL officials, in which the distributors were assured that their interests will be protected, it added.
The company considers them as an important part of the distribution network and would take a serious decision on it, HUL officials told AICPDF during the meeting, as per the statement.
"Hence, the agitation against HUL is suspended till further notice," said AICPDF, which represents over 4 lakh distributors and stockists across India.
Meanwhile, an HUL spokesperson said in response to a request the company had received from AICPDF, its representatives met them to understand their concerns and feedback about the evolving Route to Market (RTM) models.
"HUL reiterates that General Trade (GT) continues to be our largest channel and our Distributors (Redistribution Stockists) are and will remain our valued partners in our quest to serve the needs of our consumers across India.
"HUL remains fully committed to ensuring that our distribution partners earn a fair return on their investments and work collaboratively in enhancing their capabilities to make them Future-fit," the spokesperson added.
The company further said its distributors have overwhelmingly conveyed to it that they would continue to meet the needs of shoppers and consumers in an uninterrupted manner.
Last week, distributors had said they would stop selling products of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in Maharashtra as it has not engaged in discussions with them over issues of price disparity.
"Agitation against Colgate would be continued as informed earlier. Its intensity would be further enhanced," AICPDF said, adding the company is not responding to their proposal for talks due to its "obstinate attitude".
Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd in a regulatory filing on Tuesday said it is directly engaging with its distributors to resolve their challenges.
"We would like to clarify that the Company has not, so far, engaged with the All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation," the company added.
AICPDF had earlier asked its distributors not to sell Colgate's Max Fresh brand in the market from January 1. It also said they will stop selling the company's Ved Shakti brand from next week if it does not come forward for talks.
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) distributors are seeking a level playing field from manufacturers regarding price disparities between the traditional trade and B2B retailers such as Jiomart, Walmart, Metro Cash & Carry, Booker, ElasticRun and Udaan.
Earlier, AICPDF had written an open letter to companies saying that B2B players are offering FMCG products to retailers and local shops at lower prices.
AICPDF had also asked its members "not launch any new product of the company" unless they get an undertaking from the FMCG makers that the particular product is not available with B2B retailers.
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