Coca-Cola, AB Inbev and Mondelez – the parent companies of FMCG brands Coke, Budweiser and Cadbury – have been named the worst three companies in the food and beverage industry for paying suppliers, according to the latest data.
Food and beverage companies typically take an average of 49 days to pay their suppliers. However, research conducted by industry campaign group Good Business Pays revealed Coca-Cola Europacific Partners typically take 128 days to pay its suppliers.
The soft drinks giant also operates on a maximum contractual payment period of 276 days, despite recording profits of £246 million in 2020.
AB Inbev – which also owns beer brands Becks and Corona – takes an average of 111 days to pay suppliers, with a 235 day maximum contractual payment period.
Mondelez came in as the third worst company for paying suppliers, with an average of 101 days.
According to Good Business Pays, Coca-Cola’s maximum contractual payment period is a staggering nine times longer than the 30 days recommended by the government’s Prompt Payment Code.
“It’s always disappointing to see bigger firms paying their suppliers in more than 60 days and their small firms in more than 30 days,” Small Business Commissioner Liz Barclay said, pointing out that evefryone benefits from “fast and fair” payments.
“We’d love these firms to apply to join the Prompt Payment Code and commit to pay much faster. If poor payment practices continue, firms are likely to see suppliers go to the wall, and when they’re gone, retailers won’t be able to stock the goods that their customers want and need.”
The research also revealed that paying small suppliers on time doesn’t need to be at odds with business profitability, giving examples of brands such as Branston, which reported a 28.6% increase in turnover last year, while paying suppliers within 20 days on average.