Foodstuffs have announced it will allow small and medium-sized suppliers to move to 10-day payment terms during the coronavirus lockdown.

It is hoped the move would give the suppliers more financial certainty during the lockdown and was across Foodstuffs North Island Ltd and Foodstuffs South Island Ltd.

The change for invoices was available during the lockdown and a further three months, Foodstuffs announced this afternoon.

"By paying our small and medium suppliers faster we hope to give them more financial certainty and business surety during the challenging Covid-19 climate," Foodstuffs said.

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"We recognise it is tough out there for many businesses at the moment and we want to make it as easy as possible for our valued suppliers to keep trading.

"They are critical to our business and we want to help them by taking a bit of pressure off them financially."

Foodstuffs' brands include three of New Zealand's most prominent supermarket chains, New World, Pak'nSave and Four Square.

Co-operatives of the organisation had already worked with a number of suppliers to help with cash flow since the start of the virus outbreak.

"Offering a 10-working day payment cycle sends a strong message our SMEs are valued and helps ease some of the financial pressures some suppliers may be under," Foodstuffs said.

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"We encourage our small and medium suppliers to reach out to their relevant Foodstuffs North and South Island contacts and begin a conversation if they would like to take up this offer."

Yesterday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced supermarkets would be open on Easter Sunday but closed as usual on Good Friday.

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The announcement was made during her daily update on the coronavirus pandemic and New Zealand's lockdown.

Any supermarket employee who did not want to work on Easter Sunday would not have to, and again, Ardern urged Kiwis to be kind to supermarket workers.

The decision on Easter trading was made by the Covid-19 committee, who thought there was a need for staff to rest and for supermarkets to restock.

However, people still needed access to essential food, hence they would be open on Easter Sunday.

What Foodstuffs North Island and Foodstuffs South Island said it would do:

• Provide a 10-working day payment cycle from the date of receipt of a valid invoice, to SME businesses that contact the company requesting these terms;
• Commit to a target of 95 per cent of payments being paid within 10 working days of receiving a tax invoice and will make every effort to achieve this;
• Use the guidance provided via the MBIE website to review and accept requests for changes to payment terms;
• Commit to providing these terms to SMEs for the 4-week lockdown period, and the three months following this as a way to assist SMEs with returning back to normal operations.