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the bill which revives hostilities with industrialists

It is a proposed law that could revolutionize the annual price discussions between distributors and food product manufacturers, as it addresses sensitive subjects: the regulation of promotions, purchasing centers located abroad or the rules of pricing in the event of disagreement between the parties.

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After being amended in the Economic Affairs Committee on Wednesday 11 January, the text, “aimed at securing the supply of consumer products”, carried by the deputy (Renaissance) of Val-de-Marne Frédéric Descrozaille, will be examined in the National Assembly, Monday, January 16. And the debates promise to be lively, because this proposal concentrates all the issues related to the income of farmers and industrialists in a period of energy crisis, but also to questions of purchasing power of the French, in the context of historically high inflation. and sustainable.

The most sensitive subject lies in the fact that MP Descrozaille wishes “rebalancing the forces” in relations between suppliers and distributors, which every year are the scene of heated discussions. “Today, if there is no agreement after the deadline of 1er March, the supplier is obliged to supply the distributor under the conditions of the year before, and this for several months. And, with the sharp rise in costs, it is losing money”explains Mr. Descrozaille.

“It’s total amazement”

According to the text submitted for Parliament’s consideration, in the event that the negotiation does not result in a contract signed on 1er March, suppliers and distributors would have a transition period of one month to, under the aegis of the mediator, agree on a notice of commercial termination or “restart the negotiation from zero”. During this period, the previous rate would be extended. In the absence of an agreement then, the new price requested by the supplier would automatically apply if the distributor wants to continue to deliver.

“It’s a totally counterproductive steamroller, in which the voice of the distribution that is in the field is not heard” – Dominique Schelcher, CEO of Système U

A measure that has triggered the anger of distributors, on the theme of defending their customers, already worried about the decline in their purchasing power. “It’s total amazement”, protests Dominique Schelcher. The CEO of System U denounces “a text that risks accelerating inflation, in an already tense context, where we see a drop in sales in volume, which began in the summer of 2022, which is accentuated”. “It’s a totally counterproductive steamroller, in which the voice of the cast that’s on the ground isn’t heard. » The question of the timing of the text is also raised: the first signs of a decline in the prices of raw materials such as metals, cardboard or certain cereals are emerging.

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