A fruit and vegetable supplier is suing Lidl in a £2.7 million claiming that the discount grocer destroyed his business.
Deane Proctor, the founder and managing director of Proctor & Associates, is fighting a David and Goliath battle against the group, claiming Lidl has “stabbed him in the back”, as it cancelled or slashed orders with insufficient notice and “poached his own suppliers from under his nose.”
According to This is Money, the supplier claims Lidl grew in Britain, it repaid him with ingratitude, cutting him out of deals and abruptly dropping his produce.
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“There weren’t many suppliers [in Britain] that wanted to deal with the discounters at the time,’ said Proctor said. “For a long time I helped to sell the idea of working with Lidl to the farmers.”
At its peak, the supplier delivered products worth almost £29 million to Lidl in a single year. However, Proctor added that from around 2015 the attitude of Lidl’s buyers towards him “closed off”.
He claims Lidl started doing business behind his back, including ones that he had worked with for years.
“Here’s me thinking the challenge is to be more efficient, to invest in the business. I tried to do all of the right things. It felt like I had been stabbed in the back.”
His business with Lidl ended in June last year and his firm has now been forced to close down.
A Lidl spokesman told This is Money: ‘We are in the process of reviewing the claims and will be responding in due course.’