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Mike Knowles



French growers denounce price war

Producer groups criticise "abusive" promotions and say they refuse to act as "cannon fodder" in supermarket battle.

French growers denounce price war

Price promotions on fruit and vegetables at a branch of Leclerc (photo: Creative Commons, Bordeaux)

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French fruit and vegetable growers have strongly critised the country's retailers for engaging in what they describe as a highly damaging price war and have said they will name and shame individual grocery chains that run "abusive" price promotions.

In a strongly worded statement, the National Fruit Producers Federation (FNPF) and vegetable group Légumes de France said growers refused to be "cannon fodder" in the retailers' on-going commercial battle.

"Fruit and vegetables are shown no mercy as the battlefield in this war," said the organisations. "The ammunition? Products imported at disgusting prices. The collateral damage? Producers of fruit or vegetables in France, and their wages, but also consumers who are being tricked and disappointed."

French retailers were marketing fresh produce at a loss in order to sell higher-value items elsewhere in store, the statement continued.

"It's not about selling more vegetables or fruit, nor is it about meeting consumer expectations or making them happy. In reality it's about convincing shoppers that chain X is the cheapest, then selling all the other products (which aren't on promotion) at high prices."

The groups added: "Retailers, fruit and vegetable producers refuse to serve as cannon fodder for your war! This is never allowed! It is your responsibility to avoid social dumping with imported products. Do not be surprised if producers on the ground react with incomprehension and anger."

FNPF and Légumes de France called on all fruit and vegetable growers to flag up any retail price promotions on fresh produce that they felt were damaging to the sector.

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