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Supermarkets: Profiting from product prices – The Food Pass scheme

Supermarkets: Profiting from product prices – The Food Pass scheme
Supermarkets: Profiting from product prices – The Food Pass scheme

At a time when society is facing serious problems of survival with the accuracy hitting “red” and citizens looking for alternative ways to save money – based on the government’s exhortations especially regarding the energy sector – in the sector of Super Marketsome make sure to put a noose around their neck consumers with the accuracy constantly increasing, on the verge of obscene profit!

Also read: Electricity: How the government subsidy saved from the worst – Examples of August bills

In particular, the cases of profiteering in the market are increasing, with violations ranging from unjustified increases in products on the shelves, even cases where from the shelf to the checkout, a different price was entered on the barcode!

Beware of the “trick” with barcodes

Typically, a product on the shelf with a certain price, ended up being sold for slightly more (a few cents of the euro), when the cashier tapped the barcode on the cash register. This is one of the ways that the violation cannot be detected directly by the consumer, if it does not come to his attention, unless he checks the receipt with the price that was on the shelf. This is how they earn in addition to the legitimate large increases in product prices. But where it seems that a space has been created where companies are able to play the accuracy game more freely, is in private label!

In particular, as consumers complain every day, lately even the once affordable products of the supermarket chains, e.g. spaghetti, rice, dairy, cleaners, etc., as they are packaged under their brand name. Yes, after controls about 30 codes were selected by officers of the DIMEA (Interagency Market Control Unit) – products that make up the basket of an average household, and the number of violations confirms the trend of profiteering.

Private label breach party

According to the inspection service, private label acts as a “magnet” to the consumer, since these products are cheaper. Supermarkets have large profit margins because they can sell more units and, moreover, anyone who wants to profit will not do so on products that everyone has. The supermarket checks took place in the heart of summer and focused on tourist areas, where the highest number of offenses were recorded.

It is noteworthy that the private label products are not posted on the e-consumer, in the application, that is, where the prices of the products are made public and price comparisons can be made. The findings revolved around the private label as well, with the violations concerning consumer products, such as:

  • Pasta
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Juices
  • Rice

Indicatively, some examples of violations found in three large supermarket chains, following checks on private label products, are listed:

Chain No1: In one liter of sunflower oil from 33.38%, which could be the profit margin (by law), it had gone up to 38.36% (4.98% increase). In the same product, in a two-liter package, it had “climbed” from 32.84% to 36.83% (+3.99%).

Chain No2: In rice from 52%, which was the profit margin, it rose to 73% (+21%).

Chain No3: In spaghetti from 32% the profit margin reached 40% (+8%) and in laundry detergent from 31% to 39.5% (+8.5%).

They are not even scared by the “bells”

Indicative of the greed that prevails in many cases is that the supermarkets do not put a brake on the obscene profit, not even after bells of thousands of euros that fall next to them. Characteristically, huge administrative fines were imposed during the summer, even amounting to 647,000 euros in one case on a large supermarket chain, as it sold at a higher gross profit margin than allowed.

According to the relevant announcement, the fine was imposed by a decision of the Minister of Development Adonis Georgiadis and is the largest ever imposed in the history of the General Secretariat of Trade and Consumer Protection. The fines imposed during the summer exceeded a total of 1,500,000 euros!

DIMEA’s “power” is not enough

The audit mechanism of DIMEA, which deals exclusively with bribery, is made up of approximately 25 people, who are based in Athens and participate in missions throughout Greece. Furthermore, they cooperate with the regions and municipalities in particular, while, whenever it is deemed appropriate – in large or dangerous missions -, they ask for extra help, i.e. more people, from EL.AS. and the Coast Guard, since its own “power” is not sufficient. It is, after all, an Interagency Unit and the law provides for staffing from other agencies as well.

And while anti-spoofing checks continue almost daily, consumers say, they’re clearly not enough to cover the entire territory with what that entails for the free field presented to the discerning.

What does the law provide?

It is noted that according to an order of the Ministry of Development and Investments, until 31.12.2022 it is prohibited to make a gross profit from the sale of any product or the provision of any service that is necessary for the health, nutrition, livelihood, movement and safety of consumer, as well as from the sale of agricultural products and food, in particular raw materials for the production of fertilizers, animal feed, raw cereals of all kinds, flour, sunflower and vegetable oils, when the gross profit margin, per unit, exceeds the corresponding gross profit margin, per unit, before 1.9.2021. In the above arrangement, the electrical appliances of the “Change device” program were recently included, that is, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers. For these categories of products, it is stipulated that from the beginning to the completion of the program, it is prohibited to obtain a gross profit from their sale, which exceeds the corresponding gross profit margin, per unit, before 31.12.2021.

Depending on the gravity of the violation, the fine ranges from 5,000 to 1 million euros. In fact, a fine of up to 50,000 euros may be imposed on the audited person in the event that he conceals, falsifies or fails to provide the information requested by the competent authorities or in the event that he obstructs in any way the exercise of audit powers. In fact, after the amendment that was filed, the law regarding the anonymity of offenders was also changed! Thus, the measure of publicizing the trade name of companies that violate the measures to reduce the phenomena of unfair profit in times of crisis is also applied. This publication takes place in cases of businesses that have been imposed an administrative fine of more than 50,000 euros, as well as those that have been imposed an administrative fine for the second time, regardless of the amount of the violation.

“Gun” the Food Pass to save the lot

From the prime minister’s “basket” to TIF… directly to the housewife’s basket! Its financial staff is working at full speed government by his command Kyriakou Mitsotakis to “show” clear measures to combat it accuracy, giving breathing space to citizens with targeted movements that can give “oxygen” to everyday life. So, after subsidizing electricity and fuel, the government’s next “bet” is to find a solution to a family’s No. 1 expense… the Super Market to be precise, to throw a party at the expense of consumers.

Thus, according to information among the Prime Minister’s announcements from the TIF podium, it is also being considered to hear the granting of an allowance for the purchase of food. This new measure of support, is “measured” and if qualified, will be another “weapon” of the government in its effort to stand by the citizen in every way and especially the most vulnerable social groups. So it’s not improbable, after the fuel pass and power pass to enter our lives and the… food passa new immaterial card that will be given with strict income and social criteria.

The article is in Greek

Tags: Supermarkets Profiting product prices Food Pass scheme

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