Business group asks city to exempt SMEs from paying grocery listing fees

A BUSINESS organization that represents micro, small and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) in Cebu is appealing to the Cebu City Council to pass an ordinance exempting small and medium manufacturers and suppliers from paying listing fees imposed by grocery stores.
The Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc. (FCBI) said in its position paper that the high listing fees imposed by grocery store owners have become a “burden” to small manufacturers and suppliers. It said it makes their products unavailable in large grocery stores.
Grocery listing fees are charges imposed on products to be listed in the grocery’s database. Grocery stores have a computerized system that holds a database of all products for sale. For products to be listed in this database, FCBI said the manufacturer or supplier is made to pay a “listing fee.”
Although listing fees are a requirement, FCBI said the amount imposed by store owners are not regulated by law. FCBI said with the absence of this law, “store owners have the freedom to impose their desired amount for listing fees.”
The cost of listing fees range from P5,000 to P10,000 per stock keeping unit per store outlet.
“FCBI considers the listing fees imposed by grocery outlets in Cebu City a setback to small and medium manufacturers and suppliers here,” the position paper said.
In an interview, FCBI president Rey Calooy said all they want is a level playing field where small players can also thrive alongside big companies. He said regulating the cost of listing fees or exempting smaller suppliers will allow them to compete with imported brands.
“One avenue that helps promote the produce of small players is the supermarket. If you want to expand locally or globally, presence in well-known supermarkets is a factor that investors consider,” said Calooy.
FCBI anchored this appeal for exemption on the Magna Carta for MSMEs, which recognizes the potential of small and medium scale entrepreneurs in employment generation and economic growth.
A discussion on the appeal will be held this Friday.
According to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Cebu business development division chief Elias Guia Tecson, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Council has called the attention of grocery store owners about the appeal and invited them to attend the discussion set this Friday with the FCBI, MSMED Council and supermarket and grocery operators.
“We haven’t heard from supermarket operators yet. But we’d like to hear their side also,” he said.
Tecson said a resolution will be released as soon as both parties arrive at an agreement.

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