The negotiations between agro-industrialists and distributors have not yet finished but the discord is already public. Les Mousquetaires Intermarché group president Didier Duhaupand on Thursday accused Danone of taking advantage of inflation to improve its margins with “unreasonable” price increases.
“There has been a change of direction at the head of Danone and their shareholders are asking them for greater profitability, this is reflected in price increases”, estimate on BFM Business Didier Duhaupand, questioned on the absence, in some Intermarché stores, of bottles of Evian, Badoit or Volvic, all brands of the Danone group.
Tensions behind the scenes
The government decided in March to reopen negotiations between producers and large retailers, during which the purchase prices of most of the products then sold in supermarkets are decided. The aim was to take into account the inflation of both agricultural commodities and the costs of production, transport or packaging in the purchase prices of products by supermarkets.
But since March, the former have accused the latter of refusing to pay more for food products that cost more to produce or of raising prices on the shelves while refusing to pay more for these products. For their part, distributors consider certain price increases to be unjustified or different from one producer to another.
Danone “take advantage of the crisis”
“We are also producers, with water sources”, explained Didier Duhaupand, the Mousquetaires group which has the particularity of having an agri-food branch, Agromousquetaires. “We know the breakdown of costs”, which “makes us say that the requests of about 12% [de hausses de tarif] they are not reasonable ”compared to the market.
He believes that Danone, “like some companies, is taking advantage of the current crisis to restore its margins”. For his part, Danone, if he told AFP he was “unable to comment” on this increase “linked to business secrecy”, he said he had “found agreements with most of our other customers”, agreements “that take into account [ses] economic imperatives.
End of the month as a goal
Jean-Philippe André, president of the National Association of Food Industries (Ania), said Thursday that for the moment “45% of our members have not completed all negotiations with all their customers”.
He asked the government “to encourage players to complete these negotiations by the end of the month,” before a new phase for 2023 tariffs begins in October, which is due to end in March. . “A pile of negotiations would be really bad for everyone,” she said.