Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise Neale Richmond has said that the Government wants to work with retailers to make sure costs people pay are reasonable and realistic based on declining inflation.
His comments come ahead of a meeting with the Retail Forum on Wednesday, which will see representatives of the country’s major supermarkets gather.
Neale Richmond pointed out that grocery inflation is running “way ahead” of inflation generally, and reports of suspected price gouging will also be presented to the industry to explain.
He said it was about giving the industry a “fair chance” to put in reductions for consumers.
The meeting will involve the some large multiple shops as he pointed out that Ireland had not seen prices for staple goods come down until last week at a “supposed stroke a of pen”.
He added that there had been a number of reports of price gouging, and some still have to be verified, but they will be presented.
Evidence across the EU shows inflation having a very serious impact on the grocery shop, while commitments have been made there from the grocery sector and others had to revert to price caps.
He said that the meeting of the forum is due to take place again on 21 June, and he expected to see prices come down by that stage.
“There is a lot more retailers and food distribution companies can do to bring down the cost consumers while maintaining a fair price for farmers across the country. We look forward to an open and frank discussion on Wednesday about this,” he stated.
“This is about Government working with retailers, food producers and food consumer advocacy bodies and experts to make sure the costs people pay in the supermarket trolley at the end of the week are reasonable and realistic based on declining inflation,” he added.
He also said that supermarkets will have to prove they are not involved in greedflation and profiteering.