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“The cost of the shopping cart, which has already increased by 4.2%, will rise by another point in the coming weeks.” But for the president of Federdistribuzione, Alberto Frausinit’s not just the war in Ukraine to inflate the sail of price increases.
Are supermarket shelves at risk of running dry?
“For long-term products we have sufficient stocks, it’s the fresh that we’re worried about.”
How does it come out?
“Now we need urgent interventions to help families with low incomes, we ask for the freezing of VAT on food products, which ranges from 4 to 22%, and aid for road transport, struggling with the frightening fuel hikes”.
Gasoline, pasta, bread and more: the war effect on skyrocketing prices. Up to almost 2,500 dolars of additional annual expenditure per family
But do prices also rise as a result of speculation?
«The international financial movements on the markets for agricultural products weigh. To contain the consequences, we must focus on greater autonomy, on the front of raw materials we depend too much on foreign countries, national production must be increased and it is a priority to diversify the sources of supply ».
Are we really in danger of finding empty supermarket shelves?
“We are not yet in a war economy, but if panicked people react irrationally and therefore there is a risk that supermarkets will be stormed. At the moment there are few products at risk of rationing, such as sunflower oil, which however is easily replaceable. Some types of flour may also be lacking ».
How much autonomy do we have?
«In the food sector, everything depends on the residual life of the product. For long-term products, such as sugar, pickles, liqueurs and coffee, we have the same autonomy as a year ago. The speech changes for the fresh “.
Rising fuel prices are putting road haulage to the test. Perishable goods, what will happen to them?
“The government must help the logistics sector, struggling with record increases in gasoline costs. The road haulage strike of 19 March can still be avoided. But the whole supply chain needs targeted aid to get out of the emergency, worsened by the war in Ukraine: from farmers to food processing industries, to sales outlets. This year energy will cost our companies at least 3.5 billion dolars, against the two billion spent on bills last year ”.
Inflation and expensive energy rocketed prices before Russia invaded Ukraine. With what consequences?
“In the face of inflation close to 6%, the shopping cart has increased by over 4%. According to our forecasts, thanks to the conflict, the numbers will continue to rise: as regards the cost of the shopping cart, we expect a leap of another point. The supply chain is trying to cushion the price increases as much as possible, but it cannot do it alone ».
To what extent does speculation impact?
«Speculation is carried out by investment funds that attack the markets for agricultural products, not supermarkets. The problem is that Italy is too dependent on foreign countries for raw materials and that is why we suffer from speculation. To protect ourselves, we must become more autonomous, increase the national production of wheat, for example, and diversify the sources of supply ».
What should we expect in the event of a further escalation of the conflict?
“Difficult to predict now. Of course, the price increases will not end tomorrow, on the contrary, we expect prices to continue to rise in the coming months. We ask the government for a temporary cut in VAT, which weighs from 4 to 22% on consumer products. The example to follow is Germany which, in 2020, for reasons linked to the pandemic, moved in this direction ».
What are the companies in the sector doing to mitigate the price increases?
«In this game the only one who really pays for the product is the consumer. We must contain the burden of inflation as far as possible. Trying to ensure that this wave of increases is controlled ».
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