Arpal SpA & Walmart
Lead NCPChile
Supporting NCP(s)United States
DescriptionSpecific instance alleging a non-observance of the OECD Guidelines.
Theme(s)Concepts and principles, Disclosure, Consumer interests
Date6 May 2019
Host country(ies)Chile
Industry sectorWholesale and retail trade

Read the final statement, published on 20 May 2021: Spanish

On 6 May 2019, Arpal SpA, a supplier company of Walmart Chile, submitted a specific instance to the Chilean NCP alleging that Walmart had not observed the General Principles (Chapter I), Disclosure (Chapter III) and Consumer Interests (Chapter VIII) provisions of the Guidelines. The issues relate specifically to alleged undue charges made by the company. These charges referred to the preferential display or promotional services for the products from Arpal.

Throughout 2019, the Chilean NCP organized a series of bilateral meetings with the parties.

On 20 May 2021, the case was concluded without agreement between parties and a final statement was published. Despite its efforts, the NCP was unable to find common ground for the parties to begin direct dialogue given their disagreements on the commercial contracts in question. Nevetheless, the Chilean NCP released a set of recommendations for Walmart:

i) The "Supplier's Ombudsman" is highlighted as a good practice, focused on being "a formal and open channel to resolve supplier complaints," also operating as a space to receive queries, including contractual terms, and thus strengthen the focus on preventing possible differences and enhance ongoing dialogue with suppliers.

It is also suggested that periodic evaluations of the functioning of the mechanism be considered, including consultations with suppliers.

ii) It is recommended that Walmart consider the inclusion of staggered dispute resolution clauses or consider alternative dispute resolution mechanisms with its suppliers, so that those disputes that cannot be resolved by the Supplier Ombudsman's Office can be mediated by a third party.

iii) It is recommended to reinforce internal dissemination through training programs on the company's policies regarding the relationship with suppliers, considering the general contractual terms that apply and good practices associated with suppliers.

iv) Regarding published information, the changes made to the company's website, in the "Suppliers" tab, are recognized. In this regard, it is recommended that greater visibility be given to the definition of SME, considering its inclusion in the section "How to become a Walmart supplier" and not only in "Assistance to current suppliers".