Negotiations on the prices of food products have resumed between supermarket brands and large industrialists, said Wednesday the president of the main agri-food organization (Ania) who made a commitment to Bruno Le Maire. At the end of a meeting in Bercy on May 17 with the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire, the representatives of Ania and another organization, Ilec, had undertaken to reopen negotiations with supermarkets to lower prices on the shelves.
This commitment concerns the 75 largest French food manufacturers, on the double condition that they have obtained price increases of more than 10% during the last annual negotiations (completed on March 1) and that the cost of a of their inputs (agricultural raw material, energy, etc.) has fallen by more than 20% since then. “About 50” members of Ania are part of these 75 companies and “the vast majority have already resumed contact” with the brands, assured France Info its president, Jean-Philippe André, repeating that the negotiations had “absolutely” started.
“There are even companies that are not in both criteria (…) who are coming back to the negotiating table” because they have an interest in restoring their sales volumes, he added. The same morning, Bruno Le Maire had expressed a different vision on France Inter: “The major manufacturers have made commitments in my office to return to the commercial negotiation table with distributors. The commitment has not been kept for the moment,” he said.
"One of two things, either the manufacturers keep their commitments in the coming days or I will use the tax instrument to recover the margins they must return to consumers," he warned. “We don't want that and we won't need it,” reacted Jean-Philippe André, stressing that manufacturers had an interest in lowering their prices when they could. This, however, requires an “alignment of all the planets,” he said. He explained that if the prices of oil, wheat or industrial butter had indeed fallen, companies should first sell their stocks purchased at high prices before considering a tariff reduction. According to INSEE on Wednesday, food inflation slowed to 14.1% over one year, a level that is still very high.