Warns that setting price caps would likely lead to profitability problems
MADRID, 22 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -
Supermarkets consider the measure proposed by the Second Vice President of the Government and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, to apply the Retail Trade Law to fix the prices of food products "inapplicable", since they believe it would be "very bad" for the producing sector.
"It is an idea that has been on the table of Vice President Yolanda Díaz since September. It is a Law that has been applied on some occasions to establish the single price of masks, but the food sector is very complex and honestly the I see it as inapplicable", assured the general director of Asedas, Ignacio García Magarzo, in statements to the RTVE channel '24 horas', which is reported by Europa Press.
The director of the supermarket employers' association, which has among its associates Mercadona, Lidl, Coviran or Dia, among others, has indicated that it would be "very complicated" to establish which products to limit the price. "The Government has explained it, that this would be very bad for the sector. We are one of the leading food producers in the world and main exporters. Setting price limits would probably condemn not only distributors but also distributors to problems of profitability and supply to producers", he pointed out.
Questioned if supermarkets would be willing to negotiate a basic shopping basket, García Magarzo explained that food prices "raised much later than the CPI because competition made the margins of the entire chain bear a very significant increase in costs ". "The good news is that those factors that pushed prices up are going down," he recalled.
On the other hand, he regretted the talk of oligopoly in the distribution sector. "Not only is there none, but the competition is much greater than in other European countries, thanks to the fact that there is less concentration and more companies to choose from. In Spain, we have regional chains, which have a significant weight, in scope national and international, and 40% of the trade of fresh products in the hands of traditional trade and markets", he explained.
"The sector is very distributed and in no case can one speak of oligopolies. The Competition authorities have explained that there is more competition here and that allows for consumer choice and ensures that prices are formed efficiently," has stressed.
For this reason, the general director of Asedas recalled that in Spain what exists is a "serious problem of costs" and that this is the "same food chain that has kept food prices stable in the last 20 years".