Govt to Monitor Prices of 15 Basic Foodstuffs from September, Aims to Limit Inflation

By , 27 Jul 2022, 08:00 AM Business
Govt to Monitor Prices of 15 Basic Foodstuffs from September, Aims to Limit Inflation Flickr - Paul Townsend CC by 2.0

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STA, 26 July 2022 - The monitoring and comparison of retail prices of 15 basic foodstuffs at different retailers is expected to start in September, shows an open call for a price monitoring contractor. This is one of the government's measures to address the cost of living crisis that is aimed at preventing excessively steep price hikes.

The main objective of price monitoring is to provide consumers with information on the retail prices of comparable products between individual retailers and on the origin and quality of each product. This will make it easier for them to make choices in a time of price hikes, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food said in the open call documents.

The contractor is expected to set up a dedicated website to publish the current prices of this basic foodstuffs basket every fortnight over a seven-month period, from 1 September 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Three times during this period, the prices in Austria, Italy and Croatia will also be monitored.

The basket will include wheat white flour type 500, white bread and a certain type of pasta (price per kg for each), beef steaks, pork steaks and chicken fillet (all unseasoned and packaged, with price per kg and per package), fresh whole milk with 3.5% milk fat (price per l), liquid yoghurt with 3.2% milk fat (price per kg), semi-hard and semi-fat cheese (price per kg and per packaging) and butter (price per kg and per 250 g), M-grade cage-free eggs (price per 10 pieces), class 1 apples of various varieties (price per kg), potatoes (price per kg), sunflower oil (price per l) and white sugar (price per kg).

The final list will be coordinated with the ministry and should be ready by 8 September.

The first price monitoring should be carried out no later than on 12 September, and the website should be launched on 15 September at the latest.

To mitigate the effects of price hikes the government said it would make public the past prices of a basic food basket as well, so the list is expected to include the prices from 1 April to see which retailers kept them low and which increased them. Making this public is intended to discourage them from increasing prices too sharply.

Prime Minister Robert Golob said in mid-June that retailers had widely varying prices and margins, so the government will establish a clear picture of where prices for a basic basket of products are low and where they are "clearly astronomical". They will not do negative publicity, but positive publicity for those who have the lowest prices and the lowest margins, he added.

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