FWD's membership embraces a wide range of wholesale and distribution businesses, from public limited national chains to single-site independents.
In the high volume, low margin wholesale model, increases in operating costs cannot easily be absorbed. They have a direct effect on the price to customers, and therefore on to consumers, increasing inflation in the food and drink supply chain. FWD makes the case for regulation of businesses in this sector to be necessary, effective and proportionate.
While supporting the National Minimum Wage, wholesalers are concerned that frequent above-inflation rises in NMW create a knock-on effect as employers have to maintain pay bands. We are concerned that the National Living Wage will severely restrict the profitability of our members, should the proposed target of over £9 by 2020 be pursued. Our report, Delivering Employment, outlines the added cost to our sector, and explores how wholesale distributors would be forced to cut jobs and services to meet the rises.
FWD engages with the Low Pay Commission to look at how the lowest-paid can be fairly rewarded without imposing costs on employers that would ultimately result in a reduction of head count.
FWD believes that current Sunday trading regulations, which limit the number of hours larger stores can open, should be maintained. We are part of the Keep Sunday Special coalition which is currently challenging the Government's consultation on devolving responsibility for Sunday hours to local authorites.
How the National Living Wage affects wholesalers:
01/08/2016 - Trade Bodies Urge Caution on Future Living Wage Rises
12/02/2016 - Wholesalers will struggle to absorb National Living Wage rises
14/12/2015 - Representing, promoting and bringing together - How FWD spoke for wholesale in 2015