Trade union: Food prices will probably continue to rise in February, they will fall in the spring

Trade union: Food prices will probably continue to rise in February, they will fall in the spring

Trade union: Food prices in Norway likely to rise further, fall in spring

Food store, discount – illustrative photo.

Prague – Food prices will probably continue to rise in February, although not at the rate of January, when they increased by an average of four percent month-on-month. A bigger drop will come in the spring. The President of the Trade and Tourism Association and advisor to the Minister of Industry Tomáš Prouza said this today in the Czech TV program Otázky Václav Moravec. According to representatives of the Agrarian Chamber and the Ministry of Agriculture, retail chains are to blame for the rise in prices.

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According to Prouza, the reason behind the continued increase in the price of food in the retail trade is not the retail chains, but the abuse of inflation and the dominant position by the suppliers. “The business often has no alternative, and large suppliers have us by the throat,” said Prouza. According to him, the price reduction will come in the spring with domestically produced spring vegetables, which will limit more expensive imports.

According to the president of the Agrarian Chamber, Jan Doležal, food prices are not determined by farmers, but by chains. “We have clear data that we did not even project higher costs,” he pointed out. At the same time, he stated that the costs of food companies, i.e. processors, increased the most.

Chief Director of the Food Industry Section at the Ministry of Agriculture, Jindřich Fialka, believes that retail chains are responsible for the main increase in prices. “If retail chains have a trade markup for individual verticals of up to 175 percent for consumer potatoes and 110 percent for apples, it's up to the viewer how they react to it,” he added. According to him, the greatest power to influence prices is the consumer himself, who can push for price reductions of expensive products.

In Slovakia, retail chains have pledged not to increase the margin on 15 basic items, in the Czech Republic, according to Prouza, merchants are following this path they will not go and, according to Fialka, the Ministry of Agriculture will not even invite them to do so.

According to Eurostat, food prices in the Czech Republic rose by 27.2 percent year-on-year in December, in Slovakia it was 29 percent and in Hungary 49.6 percent. On the contrary, food prices rose by 13.1 percent in France and by 20.5 percent in Germany. The world food price index has been falling for ten months.