Walmart Canada has announced that it will no longer do business with bread supplier Weston Foods.
The announcement, reported in the Financial Post, drew speculation that the move was at least partly in retaliation for the role Weston Foods played in revealing the details of an alleged bread price-fixing scheme. Weston Foods is a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd., which is the largest shareholder of Loblaw Companies. Five months ago Loblaw and George Weston admitted they had taken part in a 14-year scheme to fix the price of bread. They were in turn granted immunity from prosecution.
Walmart Canada has refused to comment on the Competition Bureau investigation, but it did say the decision to drop Weston Foods was purely the result of a corporate move to reduce its number of commercial bread suppliers and had nothing to do with the price-fixing.
Weston brands, including Wonder Bread, D’Italiano and Country Harvest, will disappear from Walmart shelves in the next couple of months.