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Pasta, cereals… The Mayor announces the drop in prices of hundreds of products

Seventy-five agrifood manufacturers have made a commitment to the government to lower their prices on many products, the minister said.

By IM with AFP

Bruno Le Maire announced the drop in prices of hundreds of food products in July.

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“JI tell the French that, from July, on a certain number of references and products, the prices will drop, ”said Bruno Le Maire on Friday June 9 on BFMTV-RMC. Pasta, cereals, poultry… Hundreds of food products will thus see their prices drop by virtue of a commitment made to Bercy by 75 major food manufacturers, promised the Minister of Economy and Finance.

This commitment comes at a time when the government has been putting pressure for several weeks on these powerful groups, such as Coca-Cola, L’Oréal, Mondelez or Nestlé, to take their part in the efforts aimed at curbing the soaring food prices which are penalizing the household wallet.

“And we will check it and we will sanction those who do not play the game” via controls for the repression of fraud (DGCCRF), assured Bruno Le Maire. “This is what the industrialists committed to” at a meeting Thursday in Bercy, he added, stressing that this initiative was aimed at “several hundred everyday consumer products”, the list of which will be sent to him. ” next week “.

Pasta, poultry, oils…

Among the products concerned, Bruno Le Maire cited pasta, poultry, cereals, oils or even animal feed, namely those whose “prices on the wholesale markets are falling”. But not milk, beef or pork. “When wholesale prices fall […]it sometimes takes three months, four months, five months before the price of the relevant products […] also goes down,” he explained. Manufacturers have thus accepted “an early indexation”, without which the fall in wholesale prices would only have been passed on “around September, October, or even a little later”.

Consumer price inflation slowed to 5.1% in May year on year, but that of food products reached 14.1%.

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Several major food manufacturers have also pledged to reopen trade negotiations with supermarkets on contracts concluded for 2023, according to the minister. He specified that, for the moment, there were two or three industrialists who were negotiating, whereas about fifteen could do so: either because they had already increased their prices by more than 10% during previous annual negotiations (completed 1er March), or because certain production costs have fallen by more than 20%. The government had again put pressure this week on manufacturers who were reluctant to renegotiate with distributors.

Bruno Le Maire had thus raised the threat of a publication, “before the end of June”, of the names of those who would not play the game. “The possibility remains on the table”, he assured Friday . “If there is one of these 75 agrifood manufacturers, of these large multinationals which has margins which continue to progress […], that means that it does not play the game of the fight against inflation. So his name will be revealed to the public,” he warned.

Threat of “a tax on excessive margins”

The Minister also brandished the threat of “a tax on the excessive margins of these companies”, the rate of which would be set by Parliament. “The margin rate of agribusiness companies rose sharply in the first months of 2023 and they more than made up for the losses they had made in the past two years,” he noted. . “There is a part of the margins that you have to return to the consumer,” he insisted on addressing these companies. “You do, great, and I think you will. You don’t, we’ll get it back through tax. »

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For their part, supermarkets will extend their anti-inflation operation until the end of 2023, through which they sell a selection of products of their choice at the “lowest possible price”.

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