French watchdog hits out at food manufacturers and retailers over pricing

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 9th December 2009

France’s food manufacturers and retailers have profited from falling commodity prices by not passing on the reduction in costs to shoppers, one of the country’s leading consumer watchdog’s said today (8 December).

L’UFC-Que Choisir published a “damning” survey of food prices that it claimed demonstrated that manufacturers and retailers had not passed on falling commodity costs to consumers.

The watchdog said it would press the French parliament to intervene and introduce a mechanism of calculating what the price of products on supermarket shelves based on discussions with all stakeholders.

“Manufacturers and distributors take advantage of changes in agricultural prices, particularly falling prices, to significantly increase their margins,” L’UFC-Que Choisir said.

As an example, the watchdog claimed that the price paid to farmers for milk fell 7% between September 2007 and September 2009. At the same time, the price of Candia milk rose by 5%.

“The link between farm prices and price range is therefore only upward, never down,” the watchdog insisted.

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