Leading oral care company Colgate-Palmolive on Wednesday said it has initiated talks with distributors who are boycotting some of its products in Maharashtra and a few other states over issues of the price disparity between the traditional distributors and organised business-to-business channels.
A day after taking a tough stand against them, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd (CPIL) said its officials met the representatives of the All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF), the association which has called for a boycott of certain products of the company from January 1, 2022.
"To that end, we have held - and will continue to hold - meetings with them to discuss and resolve their concerns. In addition, we have met with the All India Consumer Products Distribution Federation and shared with them our process of engagement with our distributors and our commitment to address their issues. The federation was supportive of our efforts," CPIL said in a statement.
It further said it remains committed to forging productive partnerships with its distribution network to serve consumers.
"We will keep working with our distribution partners, so consumers can continue to enjoy their trusted oral and personal care products," it added.
On Tuesday, distributors had suspended their boycott of FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in Maharashtra after talks with the company over issues of price disparity.
However, AICPDF had said it will continue to boycott certain products of Colgate as the oral care company had not come forward for talks.
In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, CPIL had 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 had 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.