The bill intended to fight inflation by advancing trade negotiations between manufacturers and distributors "to pass on as quickly as possible the falls" in price was presented Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.
We want to bring forward the date of negotiations between distributors and manufacturers so that these negotiations are concluded no later than January 15, 2024 instead of spring 2024, "said Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire at the end of the Council of Ministers. "Why? Because input prices are falling and we want this drop in input prices to be passed on to the price of a packet of pasta, oil or any agri-food product as soon as possible," the minister said.
Bercy targets in the text the 75 largest industrialists who "represent more than 50% of the market share," said Tuesday the ministry during a telephone brief to the press. Bruno Le Maire, who recalled that "the principle remains that of dialogue and commitment of actors", also said he had asked manufacturers "that all the general conditions of sale be made available to distributors before November 1st". "And I asked with great gravity that no one plays for time," he insisted. "It generally takes between 2 months and 90 days to reach an agreement, so it is imperative that the general conditions of sale of the 75 largest manufacturers are filed with distributors before November 1," explained Bruno Le Maire.
The bill must now be discussed in Parliament, "and it is not won because so far there has been no agreement between Parliament and the government," said Wednesday morning on France Info Michel-Edouard Leclerc, president of the strategic committee of the distribution group Leclerc. "We were fooled, consumers were fooled, the increases that took place in 2022-2023 were exaggerated for many industrialists," said Michel-Edouard Leclerc denouncing "an increase in corporate margins".
The President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron had said Sunday want to find with the major industrialists "an agreement on the moderation of margins in the sector" with "controllers who will carry out verifications". "We will work on this with all the actors," said Bruno Le Maire, "we will look at how to set this up with a single objective: the lowest possible prices for consumers." "In times of inflation, it's not margins that need to go up, it's prices that need to go down. That's what a margin moderation agreement is for," he said.