From this Monday, consumers will gradually be able to find it on supermarket shelves special marking for the products they will have for six months discount 5% as the new initiative of the Ministry of Development came into force “Permanent Price Reduction” in the battle against exactitude, with the direct aim of supporting the Greek family against the inflationary crisis.

So far, food industries have registered 100 codes participating in the ministry’s initiative.

At the same time, checks by DIMEA on the entire supply chain are being intensified for possible violation of the law on profiteering.

The ministerial decision for “locked” prices by at least 5% and for a period of at least six months has already been published and the supermarket chains should inform electronically the services of the competent ministry on which products, of which companies, they have received price increases from the suppliers.

“The goal is to achieve, at least, 500 product codes to have a reduction on the shelf” recently stressed the Minister of Development Kostas Skrekas, referring to the special marking on products that will have a constant reduction of at least 5% for a six-month period. In fact, he added that “from next week, consumers will start to see the special markings in supermarkets for the products in which their price is reduced”.

“Whatever the state institutes for the good of consumers, all supermarket businesses will implement it,” the general director of the Greek Supermarket Association, Apostolos Petalas, points out in a statement to the Athenian-Macedonian News Agency. “The Union encourages any such initiative. All we ask is that it be done in an efficient way and not particularly bureaucratic that can lead to increased operating costs and possibly errors.”

Focusing on the permanent price reduction measure, Mr. Petalas notes that what the ministry is trying to do with the fixed 5% reduction over a six-month period is to encourage suppliers to proceed with reductions in their price lists, in the proposed prices. “It is a measure that, if it works, will definitely help to reduce prices and reduce inflation,” Mr. Petalas emphasizes to APE-MPE and adds: “Fixing a price for six months is a long period, especially in such intense periods of change . I hope it succeeds and many businesses follow suit. We look forward to seeing how those suppliers who are able or willing to commit to permanent price reductions will respond.”

As far as inflationary pressures are concerned, Mr. Petalas places a year from today for the start of the steady downward trend in food prices, provided that there will be no new disturbances in energy costs or other disturbances and natural disasters due to the climate crisis. However, he is quick to note that with events in the Middle East things have become complicated and the magnitude of the impact on energy costs in the near future cannot be estimated. “There is no doubt that the reasons that led to the price appreciation in the last 3 to 4 years were very strong such as the cost of energy, the difficulty of the supply chain and also the cost of transportation. Several of these are beginning to show trends of retreat and normalization. In this context, some companies could take initiatives aimed at reducing prices. But we will see this in practice and on the supermarket shelves in the next period.”

The Greek food industry is positive

The Minister of Development is looking for allies in the Greek food industry in order to implement the measures he has announced against punctuality. In this context, he recently met with the members of the Board of Directors of the Association of Greek Food Industries (SEBT), under its president, Ioannis Giotis, asking for support.

Punctuality is a real problem for the Greek family. That is why I asked the Greek food industry to embrace the new government initiative for “Permanent Price Reduction” in important consumer products. Government and industry work with a common goal: supporting the Greek family against the inflationary crisis. We are always in open communication with SEBT for the better functioning of the market and the stimulation of competition. We continue to take initiatives throughout the market to achieve the best possible prices for the consumer” said Mr. Skrekas.

“Just as we did with the “Household Basket” in the past, so today, we will stand by the consumers in this difficult time,” said Mr. Giotis.

It is noted that the companies that will participate in the “Permanent Price Reduction” initiative will have to send the written commitment to the Ministry of Development by November 30, 2023. The shelf price on 9/19/23 will be taken as the reference price to calculate the reduction. It is also stipulated that supermarkets should place on the shelf with the reduced price products a special sign that will bear specific markings and specifications. Supermarket chains have 25 days from the moment the supplier notifies them of the price reduction to place the special label on the shelf. In the event that a company falsely declares that it has reduced its price, the competent agency for imposing sanctions is the Interagency Market Control Unit (DIMEA).

Regarding the other measures which will start to be implemented immediately, supermarkets with an annual turnover of more than 90 million euros are obliged to send the Ministry of Development notices of any price increase concerning basic products. The obligation concerns 59 product categories. Notices for any price increase will be sent to the Ministry of Development every Tuesday, until 3:00 p.m. In case the debtor conceals, falsifies or does not provide the data, a fine of 50,000 euros is imposed by DIMEA.

Also, supermarket businesses are also required to send indicative sales prices for fruit and vegetable products to the Ministry of Development. The announcements of the indicative retail sales prices of fruit and vegetable products will be sent every Tuesday, at 09:00 through the digital platform, while the Ministry of Development can announce the range of prices prevailing in stores either through the digital platform e- katanalotis, or on the website of the General Secretariat of Commerce.