“We were already at that price, it’s a first price baguette”, defended himself on Friday, the president of the strategic committee of E.Leclerc stores.
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Reviled by bakers and millers since his announcement that the baguette price would be blocked at 0.29 euros, Michel-Edouard Leclerc reacted on Friday January 14. “I have never had to deal with such a ridiculous controversy”, declared the president of the strategic committee of the E.Leclerc stores on BFMTV. “We were already at that price, it’s a first-price baguette, it’s a baguette that we sell by the millions (…). Faced with the inflation that is coming, we wanted to take a marker of our intention not to pass price increases without discussion, without moderation”, he added.
Michel-Edouard Leclerc announced on Tuesday that he was freezing the price of baguette bread in the group’s stores at 29 euro cents – or even up to 23 cents – for six months, in the name of defending the power of purchase by the French in an inflationary context. “In this price, we took into account two price increases that the millers asked us to pass” and “we accept the protection of agricultural products” as required by the Egalim law, defended Michel-Edouard Leclerc.
Cereal workers, millers and bakers, as well as the FNSEA, the leading agricultural union, denounced in a joint statement “prices deliberately destroying value”, indignant at a “demagogic announcement”. “Mr. Leclerc will have to explain to us how and how much he pays bakers with a baguette at 29 cents”, notably launched Christiane Lambert, president of the FNSEA. “A baker at 30 cents for four months, he died”, denounced Dominique Anract, president of the Confederation of French bakery-pastry, pointing “unfair competition”.