Four major consumer associations reminded Emmanuel Macron of his promise of an "agreement on the moderation of margins" in the agri-food and retail sectors, on Wednesday in an open letter denouncing the "opaque profits" of companies in the context of high food price inflation.
The consumer associations Foodwatch, Familles Rurales, UFC-Que Choisir and Consommation Logement Cadre de Vie (CLCV) have asked Emmanuel Macron to "shed light on the construction of food prices", also calling for "an end as soon as possible to excessive margins, which are devastating for both consumers and our producers". "On the one hand, millions of people are facing food insecurity in France," they said in a joint statement published Wednesday, while prices in supermarkets have increased by more than 20% in two years. "On the other hand, some are taking advantage of the crisis," they accuse, estimating that "the margin of the agri-food industry has reached an all-time high" while that of mass distribution "has also increased on certain essential departments." All this, "in a climate of unacceptable opacity on the construction of prices".
«full and immediate transparency'
They are calling on the authorities to make it mandatory to have "full and immediate transparency on the net margins per product" made by "the giants of the agri-food industry and mass distribution". They also "demand" "concrete measures to make excessive margins on essential, healthy and sustainable food products impossible" and the "abolition of the guaranteed minimum margin of 10% for large-scale distribution (Threshold for resale at a loss)". This framework for the "Threshold for Resale at a Loss" (SRP) was adopted as part of the Egalim 1 law, which was supposed to protect farmers' incomes. It requires supermarkets to sell food products at least 10% more than the price at which they bought them. But according to parliamentary evaluation work, the measure "seems to have only very partially achieved its objective" of increasing the remuneration of agricultural producers.
Emmanuel Macron announced at the end of September that he wanted to reach an agreement with the major manufacturers "on the moderation of margins in the sector" with "controllers who will carry out verifications", and his Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire specified a few days later that the government would ensure that the margins of manufacturers remained "reasonable".