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Diageo removed from government scheme

Diageo has been removed from a government scheme after failing to pay in line with the Prompt Payment Code.

Four entities owned by the drinks giant have been removed from the code after they failed to meet agreed terms to pay suppliers’ bills within 60 days.

Speaking to db, a Diageo spokesperson said: “While the code has changed, our commitment to ensuring all suppliers are paid on time has not. In our latest report, 97% of our SME suppliers and 93% of all suppliers were paid on time. We will continue to work hard on our payment practices, with an acute focus on SME suppliers, reflecting the original intent of the code.”

According to the small business commissioner Liz Barclay who runs the voluntary scheme, Diageo was reportedly delisted from the programme however could have withdrawn voluntarily had someone from the company chosen to communicate with her.

The code terms require firms to pay 95% of invoices within 30 days to their smallest suppliers and 95% of all invoices within 60 days, however, according to Barclay, Diageo was paying fewer than one in three of its invoices within 60 days.

The small business minister Paul Scully said that big companies missing these payments such as Diageo should “get their acts together” reminding that “as our small businesses recover from the pandemic, the last thing they need is for some big firms to hold back cash owed to them.”

Barclay has reportedly called the payment performance of Diageo “disappointing” and reminded that “the code is there to make sure that suppliers get paid as quickly as possible and when firms leave or are removed there is a risk that payments to suppliers will be slower.”

Diageo is the world’s biggest spirits maker and sells 200 products in about 180 countries.

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