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ZAANDAM, The Netherlands - Supermarket chain Albert Heijn, the largest in the Netherlands and part of the Ahold group, has removed a number of Unilever products from its shelves following a disagreement over the price the Anglo-Dutch conglomerate is demanding, according to published reports.
Ahold's management is reported to have sent a fax to Albert Heijn store managers instructing them to remove some Unilever products from their shelves.
"It is just a few versions of some brands that are not available in our shops, less than 30 of the hundreds of Unilever products we sell," Albert Heijn spokesman Hans Koeleman said. "We hope we can soon solve this incident, but that not only depends on us, it also depends on Unilever."
"We are in negotiations with Albert Heijn about supply conditions and now Albert Heijn is putting pressure with this step," Unilever spokesman Tom Gordijn said, adding that it was rare to see such disputes in the Netherlands where relations between stores and food producers are generally good.
Neither party was willing to discuss what the dispute entailed, saying simply that it concerned the terms of annual supply agreements.