Brewer AB InBev under fire over late payment to UK suppliers

Kasmira Jefford
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The Stella Artois brewer said terms with its suppliers were set up in mutual agreement
AB InBev, the brewing giant behind Budweiser, Stella Artois and Boddingtons, has been criticised by the government for imposing excessively long payment terms on its small UK suppliers.

Brewpack, which supplies conveyor belt systems, told the BBC that it could no longer afford to take orders from AB InBev because it demanded payment terms of 120 days after receiving an invoice.

Business minister Matt Hancock said such long delays were unacceptable. "These payment practices hit small businesses hardest and I am determined to stamp them out," he told the BBC.

AB InBev defended its practices yesterday, saying the payment terms were set "in mutual agreement" with suppliers.

"Like many other global companies, we review our payment terms and conditions regularly in accordance with good commercial practices and applicable law," a spokesperson said.

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