L'analyse de Michel-Edouard Leclerc sur l'inflation est-elle juste ?

L’analyse de Michel-Edouard Leclerc sur l’inflation est-elle juste ?

Inflation on food prices, a consequence of the war in Ukraine? No, replies Michel-Edouard Leclerc. Invited by no less than four media on Tuesday and Wednesday, the president of the Strategic Committee for supermarkets of the same name pointed out to explain these increases, the logistical disruption linked to Covid-19, the “recovery of growth” and the “crisis of the economy”. ‘energy “. The businessman also underlined the increase in the cost of certain materials or the bird flu, which would lead to a scarcity of eggs.

Michel-Edouard Leclerc, president of the strategic committee of the E. Leclerc centers, points to several mechanisms explaining the inflation of food prices. – ROMUALD MEIGNEUX/SIPA

In addition to these international factors, the boss of the Leclerc centers denounces “a catch-up policy which was desired by the public authorities, to better remunerate agriculture”. In his viewfinder, a law, called Egalim 2, which aims in particular to better pay farmers. “The Egalim 2 law forced us to pass price increases at the end of February which will be in stores now”, he added on BFMTV, while manufacturers and distributors have been sitting down for a little over a year. months at the negotiating table to review prices. An argument that Michel-Edouard Leclerc was already rolling out at the end of March on his blog.

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Inflation is there, as noted by the boss of the hypermarkets: in April, INSEE noted a 3.8% increase in one year on food. In detail, the bill even increases by 6.6% on fresh products. But is this the only factor in this waltz of labels? “There is indeed a destructive effect of the Covid: we have a disrupted industry, disrupted transport”, reminds 20 minutes Stéphane Gouin, lecturer in food marketing at the Agro Institute Rennes Angers. Rising energy prices have been a trend for several months.

What about the law cited by Michel-Edouard Leclerc? Has it contributed to the price increase? Difficult to say because there is currently no study on its impact on shelf prices. An observatory is in charge of observing the prices charged between agrifood manufacturers and distributors, such as E. Leclerc. If no communication on the amounts concluded between the two parties at the end of the negotiations which ended on March 1st has yet been made, manufacturers and distributors seem to be moving towards an increase of 3%.

However, this should not be understood as an increase of “3% in the prices on the shelves paid by consumers”, details the Ministry of Agriculture with 20 minutes. “A rise in the price paid to the industrialist for the agricultural raw material does not necessarily mean large increases on the shelf, continues the ministry. The share of the price of agricultural raw material in a product is limited (20% maximum), the rest being packaging, transport, etc. Distributors, who offer a wide range of products in their stores, also sometimes choose to reduce margins on one product while maintaining them on others.

A first version of the law, which did not, however, provide for the sanctuarization of the price of raw materials, had not “implied significant inflation” on consumer prices, recalls Céline Bonnet, co-author of a report published in 2020 analyzing the impact of this text.

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