ay the letter in the [April 15] issue, "Assessing Fleming." I have been a Fleming independent retailer for the last 16 years and prior to that a private-label buyer for a large chain for 10 years. I've seen both sides of the fence and believe that Fleming's practices are both ordinary and expected. It's been my personal experience with the Fleming organization that they deal with our company both honestly and with a lot of integrity. Unfortunately, our society has become lawsuit-happy, with people always wanting to blame someone else for their problems. The writer of [the letter] talks about the unfairness of signing a supply agreement in exchange for a Fleming loan. No one forced this individual to sign an agreement. He made a business decision to do so, and now he wants to cry about it. He fails to point out that Fleming was probably his only alternative for that loan and that he probably would not be in business without Fleming's assistance. Even banks require that accounts be set up with them in exchange for a loan.