Northern Ireland

Centra, Mace, Supervalu: NI stock hit by Unilever dispute

Comfort, Hellmans and Marmite Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Supervalu, Centra and Mace, which are owned by the Musgrave Group, are all affected

Stock of some products, such as Marmite, PG Tips Tea and Pot Noodles, have been hit in Northern Ireland because of a dispute between local stores and Unilever.

A previous dispute between the company and Tesco, has been resolved.

Unilever wanted to increase the price of its products to compensate for the slump in the value of the pound.

Now it has emerged that 200 smaller stores in Northern Ireland are in the same battle.

Supervalu, Centra and Mace, which are owned by the Musgrave Group, are all affected.

A letter from Musgrave to its retailers, seen by the BBC, says Unilever wanted to impose a 10% price increase on more than 400 products.

The Musgrave Group says it neither wanted to absorb this cost or pass it on to customers.

It refused the rise and on that basis Unilever has stopped supplying the NI retailers, as of Monday.

Musgrave says it is "hugely dissatisfied" with Unilever's behaviour and says it has caused immediate shortages of stock.

The letter to shops adds the issue is of sufficient gravity that it will take time to resolve.

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