Eight large retailers have agreed a time limit on forensic audits that are used to check if suppliers owe them money.
These audits can go back six years but eight retailers – including Aldi, Asda, Co-operative, Lidl, Iceland, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and WM Morrison - have agreed to limit their search for missed claims in suppliers’ trading accounts to the current and two previous financial years.
Suppliers have agreed to do the same.
The voluntary agreement was announced by the Groceries Code Adjudicator, which oversees the relationship between supermarkets and their suppliers.
The adjudicator, Christine Tacon, said: “I am delighted that eight of the large retailers have taken on board the concerns I voiced about the impact on suppliers - particularly small suppliers - being asked for sometimes significant sums of money several years after they have closed their accounts for any particular year.”