Turkey acts to take power from the supermarkets

Global turkey SM Farm

Turkey is taking tough action to reduce the power of the supermarkets and protect supp-liers and public.

After a public outcry over rising food prices – increasing 2.5 per cent in the past month and more than 18 per cent in a year – the government has vowed to put an end to it.

Turkey’s competition authority has

prepared a 138-page report with suggestions on how to protect both producers and consumers.

As a result, the Trade Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry plan to take legal steps to curb excesses.

The new regulations will make supermarkets pay producers of perishable foods within 30 days – half the current wait for payment – and a maximum of 60 days for other agriculture produce.

In situations where an order of perishable goods is cancelled, the cost will now be shared between the producer and the supermarket. Previously, only the former suffered.

The new laws will also outlaw “shelf fees” charged to producers for allowing their products onto supermarket shelves.

Likewise, practices that have been allowed in the past, such as charging the supplier for the cost of promotional activity and asking them to pay the wages of employees who stock their goods in store, have also been banned.

The Turkish government is also

clamping down on chains of supermarkets, limiting the total number of stores they are allowed to open and insisting that new outlets are at least one-two kilometres from existing branches.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his frustration with sky-high food prices and warned those responsible could face heavy fines.

“We see that there are very serious price differences in vegetables, fruits and legumes,” he said.

An audit carried out last month found 250 companies were charging exorbitant prices for 150 products. They have been given seven days to justify the high prices or face fines.

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