Swiss supermarkets criticised for high profits on food products
Two supermarkets in Switzerland have been criticised for marking up prices on essential foods amid a cost of living crisis. Two surveys from the Fédération romande des consommateurs (FRC) have found that Coop and Migros are near-doubling the price of some wholesale products to maintain profit margins.
Some products in Switzerland sold at near-double wholesale price
In the surveys, the price of products at Coop and Migros in Geneva were analysed and compared with their wholesale cost. It was discovered that in many cases, the price for consumers is near double that of wholesale prices. For example, Coop paid 1,69 Swiss francs to buy a six-pack of yoghurt from producers, but then charged shoppers 3,30 francs for the same product, a price increase of 95 percent.
The FRC concluded that the two international companies “prefer to maintain their own profitability as much as possible, despite the inflationary context.” In their view, families and individuals in Switzerland should be given more clarity as to how the prices at shops are determined.
Swiss supermarkets accused of exploiting farm subsidies
In a report by Le Temps, the newspaper accused the supermarkets of exploiting financial incentives given to farmers by the Swiss government. They noted that milk producers are currently selling their products to supermarkets at a loss, with only government subsidies keeping them afloat. The paper concluded that with both supermarkets paying so little for milk, and then up-pricing the product to make a profit, “Our taxes finance the margins of Coop and Migros.”
The FRC called on food producers, entrepreneurs and supermarkets to be more transparent about their profit margins on goods and that supermarkets should better explain how mark-ups are used to pay for their workers and their salaries. They also recommended streamlining the buying system between producers and sellers, to guarantee consumers get the best price.