Feb. 13, Paris – The government is relying on food shops to agree to provide an anti-inflation basket of everyday essentials at deeply discounted rates, so the finance minister of France encouraged them to do more to assist customers in coping with high costs on Monday.
According to Bruno Le Maire, everyone must do their part to address the issue of rising food prices, including businesses.
From the beginning of the next month, the government wants large retail chains like Carrefour (CARR.PA), Casino (CASP.PA), and the family-owned supermarket dynasties Auchan and E. Leclerc to sell a basket of around 50 common products at purchase price.
Only a few smaller chains, like Systeme U and the discounter Lidl, have endorsed the government proposal, while several merchants, including Carrefour, claim to have already acted by capping prices on a specific number of items.
The official statistics office of INSEE predicted last week that the inflation rate for food would stay at 13% for the first half of the year.
Inflation overall was predicted to decrease from 6.0% in January to 5.0% by June, but food costs were likely to become a major factor in the months to come.
Last year, the finance ministry investigated into the margins of food sellers but found no proof of price gouging.