Spanish Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz (Unidas Podemos/GUE/NGL) will meet the country’s major food retailers and consumer associations to discuss a proposal to limit the prices of around 20 or 30 items of the “basic food basket”.
The Minister explained that her proposal would not result in price intervention. Still, he aims to limit prices to lessen the impact of soaring inflation on consumers, noting that the inflation rate was 10.4% in August.
Some food prices in Spain have risen by 800%, she warned.
“I never spoke of price intervention, but of a different measure which has to do with an agreement between distributors and consumer associations (…)”, she declared to Spanish public television. RTVE reported.
On Monday, she met representatives in Spain of the French food giant Carrefour to test the waters.
She added that other EU countries, such as France, have suggested or implemented similar measures. She said it’s ‘a reasonable and positive model for everyone’, EURACTIV’s partner EFE Agro reported.
Díaz acknowledged that the subject had not yet been formally discussed with employers’ associations and trade unions and stressed the need to also involve producers in the debate. All links in the food chain are affected, she added.
Agriculture Minister Luis Planas (PSOE/S&D) has already rejected the idea and said that from a legal point of view “it is not possible” and added that “it is not desirable ”, reported the Spanish media.
Food prices (farm to fork) in Spain rose by 283% in August, according to new data from the producer organization COAG revealed. The UPA farmers’ associations and ASJA expressed concern that farmers will bear the sacrifices resulting from this initiative.
ASAJA president Pedro Barato strongly criticized Díaz’s “whims and selfishness”, which “will jeopardize the foundations of a sector as important as agriculture” in Spain, he said. declared.
Such a measure will end up “punishing those who suffer the most from the prices charged for agricultural products”, that is to say the farmers, he added, EFE Agro reported.
The COAG meanwhile agrees on the need to ensure basic foodstuffs at affordable prices, but advocated controlling “the speculation that takes place all along the food chain”.
According to COAG, farmers are “the weakest link in the chain” and would end up footing the bill for an initiative such as price caps on essential foods. The organization has instead defended the implementation of economic measures of a redistributive nature to help families in need.