Ah Capitalism, I remember it well. I like it better when the individual shopper has the opportunity to hunt down the best prices and decide what supermarket to spend their money at. Too much government, too much regulation, too much tax and too much for that tomato.....
SUPERMARKETS have agreed to cut their profit margins on fruit and veg to help producers make ends meet.
The new deal, which was signed at the Elysée palace yesterday, will see big food outlets bring down the mark-up on produce whenever the government decrees that producers are in a period of "crisis".
The "crisis" period is defined as whenever wholesale fruit and veg prices fall significantly below the average over the previous five years.
For most items, the drop has to be between 20% and 25% for the special measures to come into force.
Carrefour, Leclerc, Auchan and Casino have signed up to the deal. Supermarkets that do not follow the new rules will be sanctioned with a higher tax rate on the land they own.
The sanctions form part of a new law on the modernisation of French agriculture, which will be debated in the Senate later today.
The deal comes after a survey by consumer group UFC-Que Choisir last December found supermarkets were marking up the price of basic food items by up to four times what they buy them for.
The president of the Fédération Nationale de Producteurs de Fruits, Bruno Dupont, said the deal was a step in the right direction - but it remained to be seen whether it would actually work.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, farmers’ earnings fell 34% in 2009, having already slumped 20% in 2008.