Alerts for the agri-food sector.

The federations of farmers (FNSEA, Agricultural Cooperation), industrialists (ADEPALE, ANIA, ILEC, FEEF), supermarkets (Perifem) launched a "call for help" on Thursday concerning the "disproportionate rise in energy costs for businesses, as the government presents its sobriety plan on Thursday.

The entire food industry estimates in a joint press release that, in the absence of significant measures to combat this increase, production disruptions could take place, with consequences for employment, and that the cost of the average French basket could increase significantly, "resulting in making households bear a share of the increase in energy".

The sector asks the government, "beyond the establishment of a process of sobriety for companies as for consumers", to go "further".

They are asking for "a ceiling price on the gas used for the production of electricity", and that "the volume of Arenh", that is to say "access to alternative suppliers at a regulated price for electricity historical nuclear power", remains in 2023 "at the same level as in 2022, i.e. at 120 TWh".

Regulated tariff

"If neither of the two measures requested is possible", these must be endorsed at European level, the sector asks the French government to set up "an emergency regulated tariff accessible to all companies", not only small and medium-sized ones, “for the duration of the crisis” and at a level “equal to the weighted average of the production costs of electricity in France”.

The media president of the FNSEA Christiane Lambert had mentioned Thursday on BFM Business a situation of “absolute emergency” for the food sector, citing agricultural production costs up more than 26% in one year.

"If nothing changes, the food chain will have to face two risks: a worsening of the drop in sales volumes, already underway, and a worsening of the level of shortages following the production decisions of manufacturers, because producing becomes too expensive", also estimated Thursday on Twitter the president of the stores U Systems, Dominique Schelcher.

Impact on consumers

Another possible consequence brandished by the sector: price increases that would be passed on to the consumer at the end of the chain.

"Inflation will increase due to the increase in production costs (between 5 and 30% depending on the products or services concerned)", say the signatories of the joint press release.

The French could "pay their average shopping basket" 15% more expensive, which would have the effect of making the price shield put in place to protect consumers "partly ineffective".


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