Valencia, (EFE) considers that the formula applied in France may be positive in Spain.
As the director of Asucova, Pedro Reig, has stated to EFE, the association has held several meetings with the general director of Planning and Analysis of the Generalitat, Ana Berenguer, in which the problems derived from high inflation have been addressed and prepared an “analysis and diagnosis”.
“We are facing a cost problem, not a price one. At the time we requested a drop in VAT, and when it was done it had a clear effect on the prices of the previous month, another thing is the year-on-year evolution, because prices have continued to rise”.
The Valencian Government, as Reig recalls, does not have powers over VAT, “nor does it over the moratorium on the tax on single-use plastic or the consideration of the agri-food and distribution sectors as essential sectors, which would allow us to better access conditions to the energy market”.
However, he has pointed out that there are talks about the possibility of “articulating some type of mechanism, which could be a consumer bonus, although it is yet to be decided, to alleviate the effects of inflation on the most disadvantaged families. Work has been done on this and we are willing to do our part to make it possible”.
Asked about the formula agreed in France, in which each supermarket designs a shopping basket with products at the lowest possible price, Reig is reluctant: “In Spain and in the Valencian Community we handle lower price levels than those of France , with lower commercial margins -around 2%, he explains-, and we have a food chain law that obliges us to assume the cost increases of suppliers or manufacturers”.
“The average rise in prices at origin is around 35%, not 15% like the CPI. Therefore, we understand that distribution has acted in Spain as a price containment dam”, adds this Asucova manager.
The risk of reducing qualities
Remember that under a previous government of Nicolás Sarkozy in France, the prices of certain products were already capped and then other suppliers were sought in third countries or they decided to reduce quality, “which benefits neither the consumer nor the producer.”
“From the first day we pass on the rise in cost as little as possible, our margins are the lowest in the food chain, they can be consulted in the Mercantile Registry,” says Reig, who also highlights the high level of competition in the distribution sector in Spain , which he considers a guarantee of price regulation.
“We hope that in the coming months the drop in fuel prices or the stabilization of the raw material markets may have an impact on the final consumer, but additionally the Government could continue applying a reduced VAT to meat and fish, which are the products that have risen the most”, adds Reig.
Lastly, he has called for a “higher vision”, beyond the “electoral period” in which we find ourselves, because in his opinion “it should not be confused with certain messages”. “You have to understand that companies work responsibly and that in Spain the consumer has many more options than in France, that there is much healthier competition.”