FMCG distributors call off stir against HUL in Maharashtra; to continue action against Colgate

On Monday, a meeting was held with HUL officials, in which the distributors were assured that their interests will be protected, it added.

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.

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”.

Meanwhile, 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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