According to the president of the Food Chamber of the Czech Republic, Dana Večeřová, the situation surrounding the food industry is artificially aggravated. The Trade and Tourism Association (SOCR) claims that the increase in food prices is behind the price increase, but Večeřová rejects this. It is said that the suppliers do not give any reason for increasing the price of food. During the negotiations, the retail chains approach the food producers, i.e. those who process agricultural products into food, to raise prices by a maximum of one percent and sometimes even ask for price reductions.
Last week, Minister of Agriculture Marek Výborný (KDU-ČSL) announced the expected increase in food prices, despite the decrease in the VAT rate, after a meeting with representatives of retail chains and SOCR. SOCR President Tomáš Prouza stated that the reason for the price increase is the increase in the prices of suppliers. Večeřová then said that the members of the Food Chamber send out new price lists, as they do every year, but they cannot inform the chains that they will raise prices, with the fact that merchants will accept it without reservations.
“If they let them go into some kind of price increase, it will be units of percent,” she said. According to her, negotiations between suppliers and traders are very tough. “We also have signals that a number of chains insist on discounting,” she added.
The Chamber has previously stated that the reduction in VAT will have no effect on food prices. “We warned the government that if it wants to do something with VAT, it must go to at least ten, ideally five percent,” said the head of the chamber. For example, in neighboring Poland, in an effort to help households face high inflation, VAT was reduced to zero on some basic foods last year.
Minister Výborný announced last week on Monday that representatives of retail chains had informed him about food price increases since January. At the same time, food will be at the new unified VAT rate of 12 percent from the New Year, while now it is at the first reduced rate of 15 percent. SOCR President Prouza said at a press conference a week ago that food suppliers are notifying merchants of price increases of five to ten percent.
This week, Večerová defended her post as president of the Food Chamber for the next four years. She had no opponent in the election. Among his priorities in the new term of office is calming the situation regarding food prices in the Czech Republic.