Are the causes of food inflation pointed out by Michel-Edouard Leclerc?

Are the causes of food inflation pointed out by Michel-Edouard Leclerc?


Inflation in food prices, a consequence of the war in Ukraine? No, answers Michel-Edouard Leclerc. Invited by at least four media outlets on Tuesday and Wednesday, the chairman of the eponymous Supermarket Strategy Committee pointed out to explain these increases, the Covid-19-related logistics disruption, the “growth recovery” and the “crisis”. of the economy “. ‘energy”. The businessman also stressed the increase in the cost of certain materials or the bird flu that would lead to a rarity of eggs.

Michel-Edouard Leclerc, chairman of the E. Leclerc Centers' Strategic Committee, points to various mechanisms that explain food price inflation.
Michel-Edouard Leclerc, chairman of the E. Leclerc Centers’ Strategic Committee, points to various mechanisms that explain food price inflation. – ROMUALD MEIGNEUX / SIPA

In addition to these international actors, the boss of the Leclerc centers denounces “a policy of coverage that the public authorities wanted for the best reward for agriculture”. In his viewfinder, a law, called Egalim 2, which aims specifically at the best pay of farmers. “The Egalim 2 law has forced us to vote on price increases at the end of February that will be in stores now,” he told BFMTV, as manufacturers and distributors have been sitting for just over a year. months at the negotiating table review prices. An argument that Michel-Edouard Leclerc had already published in late March on his blog.


Inflation is there, as the supermarket boss noted: in April, INSEE saw a 3.8% year-on-year increase in food. Analytically, the bill increases even by 6.6% in fresh products. But is this the only factor in this waltz of labels? “There is indeed a catastrophic effect of Covid: we have a disrupted industry, disrupted transport,” he said. 20 minutes Stéphane Gouin, lecturer in agri-food marketing at the Agro Institute Rennes Angers. Rising energy prices have been a trend for several months.

What about the law invoked by Michel-Edouard Leclerc? Has it contributed to the price increase? It is difficult to say because there is currently no study on its impact on shelf prices. An observatory is responsible for maintaining the prices applied between producers and distributors of agri-food products, such as E. Leclerc. If no announcements have been made yet about the amounts agreed between the two parties at the end of the negotiations concluded on 1 March, manufacturers and distributors appear to be moving towards a 3% increase.

This, however, should not be taken as a “3% increase in the prices on the shelves paid by consumers”, says the Ministry of Agriculture with 20 minutes. “The increase in the price paid to the industrialist for the agricultural raw material does not necessarily mean large increases on the shelf,” the ministry continues. The share of the price of agricultural raw material in a product is limited (maximum 20%), the rest is packaging, transport, etc. product while retaining them in others.

A first version of the law, which, however, did not provide for the reduction of the price of raw materials, did not “entail significant inflation” in consumer prices, recalls Céline Bonnet, co-author of a report published in 2020 and analyzing the impact of this text.


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