Minister Delegate for Trade Olivia Grégoire said on Sunday that she expected “a visible drop in food prices” at the start of the school year, thanks to ongoing negotiations between distributors and agri-food manufacturers and due to the decline in the prices of certain raw materials. Since March, the costs of many agricultural raw materials or energy have tended to stabilize or even fall, such as wheat, and the government has asked supermarkets and their suppliers to recover as quickly as possible around the negotiating table to review their prices.
The government plans to sanction manufacturers who “did not play the game”
“The fruits of these negotiations will bear in the summer, and I can, with some certainty, assure you that at the start of the school year we will have a visible drop in prices on the “food” shelves, said Olivia Grégoire on the show. “Political Questions” broadcast on France Inter, Franceinfo and Le Monde. She added that the government was considering sanctioning manufacturers who “did not play the game”.
“With Bruno Le Maire, we told the agri-food manufacturers, who have reconstituted their margins, (…) that it is their turn to make an effort”, warned the Minister Delegate, making the comparison with the energy companies whose profits were taxed after soaring gas and electricity prices. “If the industrialists do not play the game, we (the government, editor’s note) assume our responsibilities”, she assures, evoking the hypothesis of a “taxation on the food industry”.
Actions that must be visible “before summer”
The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire had already issued a warning Thursday evening on France 5: “I do not exclude any decision in the face of large industrialists who would not pass on the drop in wholesale prices to retail prices.” Olivia Grégoire sets “before summer” as the deadline for seeing the actions of industrialists.
Each year, supermarkets negotiate with their industrial suppliers the new conditions under which they will buy their products. The 2023 negotiations, completed on March 1, resulted in an average increase of around 10% in the prices paid by supermarkets to manufacturers. Retail food prices rose in March by 15.9% year on year.