Govt to urge retailers over high cost of groceries, as inflation declines
Representatives of large supermarkets chains, smaller shops and the grocery industry are due to attend a meeting of the Retail Forum at the Department of Enterprise later today, to discuss the continued high cost of groceries despite a general decline in inflation.
Retailers are expected to say that their costs remain high, and that price cuts will come where possible.
The Government has convened the meeting to urge retailers to cut prices for hard pressed customers.
This afternoon’s meeting comes at a time when grocery price inflation far exceeds the general inflation rate. That is down to around 6% and expected to drop further.
But food inflation is close to 13%, according to the CSO, and over 16.6% according to consultants Kantar.
To explain why leaders from all the main supermarkets have been invited to the Retail Forum they will hear the Government urge them to do whatever is needed to cut prices.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said in the Dáil yesterday the Government wants retailers to pass on savings they make as their input costs drop.
Retailers are expected to say, however, that their costs are still high, price cuts will come where possible, and that fierce competition in the Irish grocery market will always lead to downward pressure on the cost of groceries.
The meeting of the Retail Forum, chaired by Minister of State with responsibility for Retail Business Neale Richmond, has been brought forward from 21 June with a single agenda item to be discussed.
The forum, in existence since 2014, provides the opportunity for the grocery industry to directly meet the Government to discuss issues of importance affecting the sector and to find possible solutions.
Over recent years the Retail Forum, which is made of supermarket representatives, trade organisations and Government officials, have discussed challenges to the industry brought about by high costs, Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.