Inflation: no “profiteers” in the food sector, assures Bruno Le Maire

“Neither the farmers nor the distributors, nor the agri-food industry have taken excessive remuneration in the process”, affirms the Minister of the Economy in The Parisian.

There were no inflation profiteers in food“, said Saturday the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien which seems to confirm the conclusions of several parliamentary reports. In a context where the inflation rate for food products approached 12% over one year in October according to INSEE, “I asked the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) to a study”, declared the daily n°2 of the government.

The conclusion is clear: there were no inflation profiteers in the food sector. Neither the farmers nor the distributors, nor the agri-food industry have taken excessive remuneration in the process.“, he added. According to the IGF report seen by AFP on Saturday, “Overall, the rise in food prices is the result of a combination of several factors: war in Ukraine, post-Covid recovery, global warming, animal health crisis and various economic factors (economy competitiveness, labor shortages). work)“.

At the end of June, the president of the strategic committee of E.Leclerc stores, Michel-Edouard Leclerc, had deplored that “half of the requested increasesby manufacturers in the context of renegotiations on the price of foodstuffs intended to be sold by supermarkets were “not transparentand were “suspicious“. A Senate report released July 19, however, concluded that with the exception of a few “special cases» it was not observed from «widespread phenomenon of abusive increases“.

A few days later, a report by the deputies Aurélie Trouvou (La France insoumise) and Xavier Albertini (Horizons) had not made it possible to detect either “systemic abusive behavior on the part of manufacturers or distributors“. For its part, the IGF selected a sample of twelve everyday food products (chicken cutlet, plain yogurt, baguette, etc.) and studied the evolution over time of the gross margin of the various players in the production.

The analysis reveals on the one handthat the agri-food industry has squeezed its margins» and on the other hand that «supermarkets have not contributed to raising consumer prices for food products», thus contradicting the hypothesis of an inflation suffered only by the final consumer. Despite this sharing of the effort, and lower inflation in France than in other European countries, the IGF stresses that in one year, “certain food products have experienced particularly high price increases with, for example, +60% for oils, +22% for flour, +20% for pasta and +16% for poultry.»

Still on the issue of purchasing power, Bruno Le Maire suggested in his interview with Parisian to organize at the beginning of 2023 avalue sharing agreement“, within the Renaissance party. Even if he reaffirms in the interview his preference for the “employee dividend», the Minister of the Economy suggests associating within this agreement «economists, business leaders, employees and opposition groups to identify new ideas in addition to the work undertaken with the social partners“.

Finally, Bruno Le Maire reiterated his intention that France put in place “a global minimum corporate tax of 15% in early 2023“, if no agreement is reached at European level by December. The Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Germany will implement similar national the same calendar», in accordance with a commitment made in September.

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