Lois EGalim: What is it? Why are they not respected?

The EGalim laws aim to balance the balance of power between large-scale distribution, agro-industry and farmers, in order to ensure better income for the latter.

Lois EGalim: What is it? Why are they not respected?

The EGalim laws aim to balance the balance of power between large-scale distribution, agro-industry and farmers, in order to ensure better income for the latter. But their application leaves something to be desired.

The EGalim laws are a major issue in the ongoing farmers’ crisis. Their “absolute respect” is part of the demands communicated by the agricultural unions to the government. The latter has already committed to increasing vigilance over their application, notably through the voice of Bruno Le Maire: "Starting next week, I will send injunctions to all manufacturers and distributors who are in violation. comply with the law", declared the Minister of the Economy on Friday January 26. But what do these EGalim laws contain?

Adopted between 2018 and 2023, there are three of them. Their goal is to ensure a better balance in negotiations between farmers, agro-industry and large-scale food distribution, through some price control measures. The EGalim I law, passed in 2018 following the General States of Food, gives the initiative to farmers to offer prices taking into account their production costs. It also requires large retailers to make a margin of at least 10% on food products, in order to prevent sales at cost price. Finally, the law regulates promotions authorized in supermarkets on foodstuffs.

A year after the promulgation of this law, a Senate report already showed that large retailers were largely freeing themselves from the rules. Two new texts have therefore come to reinforce the first to ensure better application. The EGalim II law, passed in 2021, notably provides for the non-negotiability of the price of raw materials, in order to force large retailers to increase their prices in line with the prices of agricultural products. The EGalim III law mainly extended the provisions of the two previous texts.

But even after three texts, the rules are still not respected. In recent months, inflation has further motivated large retailers to put pressure on agro-industry and operators to cut their prices, in defiance of EGalim laws. Thus, "certain" distributors "deny the principle of non-negotiability of the price of agricultural raw materials and refuse to recognize the increase in industrial production costs (energy and wages)", explains the Agricultural Cooperation union to TF1.

Results: some farmers sell their food at prices that do not allow them to cover their costs while still earning a decent income.

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