In two short meetings with supermarkets and producers of basic goods, the Secretary of Domestic Commerce, Roberto Feletti, ordered the implementation of a price freeze of more than 1247 products for 90 days, which will apply retroactively to October 1 and will last until January 7, 2022. In parallel, manufacturers were asked to send a list of those products and their respective prices. From there, all those values that increased after the first day of October must return to previous levels.
The decision, the first of the new secretary, is a direct gesture to the private sector, with the aim of cutting the fever of the basic food basket, with the aim that in the remainder of the year household spending does not exceed the level of salary recomposition. Through a statement, the ministry stated that the objective of the meetings was “to continue working together to generate a predictable scenario by the end of the year, encourage the domestic market and preserve the salary of Argentines.”
In his debut, Feletti was accompanied by Debora Giorgi, former Minister of Industry of the Nation, who will be undersecretary of the area, and Antonio Mezmezian, in charge of the other undersecretary. For the private sector, the head of the Coordinator of Food Producers (Copal), Daniel Funes de Rioja; Juan Vasco Martínez, director of the United Supermarkets Association, which brings together Coto, Chango Más, Carrefour, Día, La Anónima and Disco Vea; and managers of the Interior chains nucleated in CAS and FASA. Also representatives of Quilmes, Coca Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, Arcor, Cabrales, Sancor, Molinos, Queruclor, Mondelez, Fecovita, Peñaflor, La Virginia, Mastellone, Marolio and Johnson and Johnson, among others.
“We see with concern that since December 2019When our government took office, until now, the weight of the basic food basket on wages increased. If one takes the case of formal workers we see that, for an adult, the basic food basket in December 2019 was 9 percent of the average salary and in the last measurement it is 11 percent ”, explained the secretary and said that This indicator is the one that is to be reduced in a framework of dialogue and agreement.
According to Commerce, the idea is to start the communication channel with the sector and explain the guidelines with which the Secretariat team will work in the new management. Feletti assured that he seeks to “seal an agreement to give consistency to the income policy of the National Government and increase purchasing power of the Argentines. We want to make their profit margins and business plans compatible with the expansion of consumption by quantity and not by prices ”. In addition, the official assured that “we need to stop the ball so that food does not continue to reduce wages.”
Products and controls
The 1,247 products represent the totality of the Cared Prices baskets, the extinct Maximum Prices and the Super Close proximity products, designed to contain the values outside the channel of the large supermarkets. All those prices will be frozen until the beginning of next year. In this scenario, businessmen raised two concerns. The producers asked to look at the costs and take fiscal measures, while the large supermarkets demanded that the suppliers deliver in volume and price according to the agreed lists, and that there be no shortages.
The big question in the plan is how the Government will control compliance, given that it is a dilemma for each armed basket to establish reference values. According to official sources entrusted to Página I12, compliance will be monitored in three ways: the first, a new software that is already being worked on and that will have national reach and on all the products reported by the suppliers, in all the places where are marketed. The second, a repowering of a tool that already exists and has little use: the mobile application for consumers to report breaches. And the third, a more political one, the link with the municipalities to have a more focused monitoring. To this end, contact has already been made with mayors to join the compliance controls.