Sunday, February 25, 2024

Portugal considers capping profit margins for producers, industrialists, and distributors

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Portugal’s Economic and Food Safety Authority (ASAE) stated that it had carried out more than 960 controls in the second half of 2022 and that it had started a new operation in March of this year.

“On March 1 of this year, 38 brigades and 80 ASAE inspectors visited different establishments to take note of the prices of products in hypermarkets and supermarkets. They discovered that the price of buying a family’s basic provisions had increased by 21.1% in the last year, i.e. more than twice what the country’s inflation had.”

These conclusions are part of the latest analysis carried out by ASAE on the rise in food prices, which was presented this Thursday, at a press conference, at the Ministry of Economy and Sea, in Lisbon. The entity opened 51 criminal proceedings for speculation and detected profit margins of more than 50% in the sale of onions, carrots, and oranges, among other products.

The Minister of Economy, Antonio Costa Silva, said that the Executive will be inflexible with all the anomalous situations in which the increase in food is almost four times higher than the inflation registered in 2022 (7.8% year-on-year).

This week, Costa Silva held a meeting with the general director of the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED) to ask him for explanations on the increase in the price of various food products, especially of the products in which authorities detected more than 40% in profit margins.

The government is studying various measures in case supermarkets don’t lower prices in the coming weeks. Thus, the Government is considering setting -on an exceptional and temporary basis- a limit to the profit margins of producers, industrialists, and distributors.



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