They have been under pressure from the government for several weeks to lower the prices of food products on the shelves. The 75 biggest companies in the agri-food industry have agreed to reopen price negotiations with large retailers earlier than expected, by the end of the month, announced Wednesday May 17 the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Mayor, as well as Ania, the main representative body of the sector.
These announcements follow the meeting held Wednesday morning with the food industry in Bercy, to which they had convened by the government, urging them to return to sit at the negotiating table.
“We are committed before the end of May that “the top 75”, the 75 largest companies in France in consumer products, will return to the negotiating table”declared at the end of the latter the president of Ania, Jean-Philippe André.
Food inflation of nearly 15% over one year
If, at the beginning of the war in Ukraine, certain industrialists “quickly ped on the increase [des prix des céréales ou de l’énergie]they ped on the decline less quickly” recent of certain courses, had in particular deplored the President of the Republic on Monday during his TF1 interviewcalling them to “reopen negotiations” trade with large retailers.
“The objective is to absorb this inflation [alimentaire] by fall”he added, while the latter reached nearly 15% over one year in April.
Each year, the prices of products sold to supermarkets are set after a period of negotiation. That for 2023, completed on 1er March, led to an average increase of around 10% in the prices paid by the brands to manufacturers.
The latter have been calling for price increases for months to take into account the increase in their production costs (energy, transport, raw materials, packaging, etc.). But since then, the costs of certain agricultural raw materials or energy have tended to stabilize or even fall.
The government has therefore been hammering for a few weeks that manufacturers must lower the selling price of their yogurts, cheeses or spreads in supermarkets.
In case of refusal, “we will use all the instruments at our disposal, including the tax instrument, to recover margins that would be undue margins made on the backs of consumers”warned Bruno Le Maire last week.
Le Monde with AFP and Reuters