14 Feb 2014

Wine industry supports extortion claims inquiry

6:27 am on 14 February 2014

The wine industry has added its weight to calls for a Commerce Commission inquiry into a Labour MP's accusations about the Countdown Supermarket chain.

Labour's economic development spokesperson Shane Jones has accused the Australian chain of demanding retrospective cash payments from some suppliers, to make up for lost profits on some goods.

He says Countdown has told suppliers there will be no shelf space for them if they don't pay.

Progressive Enterprises, which owns the Countdown stores, denies the allegations.

The Commerce Commission has confirmed it has received a letter of complaint from the MP, and it will investigate whether there's been any breach of the Commerce Act.

Horticulture New Zealand supports an inquiry, as does the New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive, Philip Gregan, although he says it's had no such complaints from anyone in that industry.