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How France secured a fall in meals costs – report


75 op meals firms pledged to chop costs

calendar icon 12 June 2023

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3 minute learn

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire mentioned final week he had secured a pledge from 75 prime meals firms to chop costs on tons of of merchandise subsequent month to mirror a fall in uncooked materials prices, reported Reuters

Provide disruptions exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final yr boosted commodity prices and fuelled a world surge in inflation. However meals costs have continued to climb in France and plenty of different international locations even after vitality and agricultural commodity prices fell sharply.

How do France’s retailers set meals costs?

Whereas in most international locations retailers and meals producers alter the value of merchandise continuously, France has set by legislation a three-month time window the place such negotiations can happen, between Dec. 1 and March 1 yearly.

Costs are then blocked for a full yr, except one-to-one offers embody evaluation clauses.

How are meals costs linked to uncooked supplies?

France adopted the so-called EGAlim laws in 2018, throughout President Emmanuel Macron’s first time period, with the goal of accelerating farmers’ earnings.

Beneath the laws, up to date in 2021, meals producers and retailers are sure to take account of agricultural commodities’ value strikes, both upwards or downwards, when setting their very own costs.

These strikes are primarily based on indexes agreed upon by every sector. They solely goal farm enter corresponding to grains, milk, sugar and meat, not different prices corresponding to vitality, labour and packaging which aren’t regulated.

What proved to be an unintended consequence of France’s laws?

Revision clauses solely coated 20% of the contracts, in accordance with a French Senate report final yr.

Costs have been most frequently locked into yearly value negotiations, too sluggish to react when enter costs transfer in a single or the opposite course.

This yr, meals producers have been capable of safe greater costs, primarily based on a surge in prices of uncooked supplies, however many of those have since fallen again sharply. Wheat, for instance, is now buying and selling 40% decrease than a yr in the past.

The pledge by meals firms to decrease their costs from subsequent month means the French authorities has gained a value minimize earlier than the subsequent re-indexing spherical this winter.

What ensures did the federal government win from producers and retailers?

Some 75 firms dedicated to chopping their costs and Le Maire, who mentioned he would get a full record of merchandise affected this week, talked about pasta, poultry and oil as a number of the meals objects that will see a value discount.

Anti-fraud physique DGCCRF will make common checks in supermarkets that costs have certainly fallen, and firms might face monetary sanctions if they do not comply with via.

If firms don’t reside as much as their promise to chop costs, the federal government might additionally publicly “identify and disgrace” them.

What do not we all know in regards to the phrases of the deal?

Meals business foyer group Ania set the next situations for French firms to comply with the value cuts:

– that that they had elevated costs by over 10% over the past spherical of negotiations

– that their enter prices fell by over 20% since March 1

It isn’t clear what number of firms met these standards.

Meals corporations additionally promised to make use of extra promotions to chop costs, an Ania spokesman mentioned. Nevertheless, the share of promotions within the deal and their timing is unclear.

Beneath the EGAlim laws, retailers usually are not allowed to low cost merchandise by greater than 34% of their worth, nor to promote greater than 25% of a product’s quantity in a promotional provide.


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