Prices on supermarket shelves are soaring: +13% on pasta, +7% more on flour, almost 3% on coffee… Michel-Edouard Leclerc asks the government for help. He asks to stop the device which obliges the distributors to keep a minimum margin of 10% on their sales.
Since the so-called Egalim law of 2018, stores must sell agri-food products with at least a 10% margin. This system was put in place to avoid the race for low prices in hypermarkets and supers, but also to keep a minimum of remuneration to better pay farmers. But according to Michel-Edouard Leclerc, we must stop to allow distributors to lower prices on the shelves. And it is urgent, with the war in Ukraine, many products – such as oil, wheat, pork – will still see their labels fly away.
Originally, this Egalim law was intended to better remunerate farmers. This is the argument of Fnsea, the largest farmers’ union. But, the Confédération paysanne is more mixed because it considers that in fact, the runoff did not take place, that this margin did not make it possible to better pay the farmers. Everyone defends their interests and it is the war of lobbies. However, in the face of soaring costs, the government has asked all these players – farmers, food manufacturers, distributors – to come back to the table to discuss prices, because given inflation, the usual negotiations that ended at the beginning of March, are already obsolete and insufficient.
They had already recorded, for this year, an average increase in food prices of 3%, but it will be much more. Surely at least one more point. In fact, the objective of these new exceptional discussions is to try to distribute these cost increases as well as possible between all the players so that in the end, the customer is relatively preserved. At the moment meetings are held every week.
To help households, there are other solutions: the idea of a food voucher for the most modest is gaining ground but with a qualitative nutritional dimension, that is to say with reductions on products of good quality to encourage beneficiaries to eat better. The government has worked on it but the measure is not yet ready.