In Moldova, local producers of fruits and vegetables can get preferential access to supermarket chains


In Moldova, local producers of fruits and vegetables can get preferential access to supermarket chains

02/19/2020

The project provides for the mandatory reservation by Moldovan supermarket chains of at least 50% of the total area of ​​retail space for domestic food

This week, a meeting with representatives of business associations on their attitude to the draft amendments to the Law on Internal Trade was held in the Permanent Commission of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova on Agriculture and Food Industry. The project provides as an interim measure the mandatory reservation by Moldovan supermarket chains of at least 50% of the total area of ​​retail space for domestic food products, as well as some other bonuses to their producers.

In particular, the bill proposes to limit up to 10% of “retro bonuses” – discounts that retailers require from food suppliers, especially perishable ones. Currently, the size of these discounts is not legally limited; in practice, they sometimes reach 20-30% or more of the base purchase price of the goods. Also, the package of amendments to the relevant law provides for supermarkets to reduce the periods of advertising campaigns, which are carried out due to the financial participation of food suppliers, up to 60 days a year.

Read also: Prices for greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers decreased in Moldova

Another important innovation of the bill is the reduction in the term of settlements for goods delivered to supermarkets. In particular, in the case of perishable products – up to seven days. Currently, there are frequent cases when supermarkets pay for shipped goods with a short shelf life after several months.

Experts agree that among the main beneficiaries of the proposed amendment to the law “On Internal Trade” there will be domestic producers of fruit berries, vegetables and their processed products.

Fears of supermarket representatives in connection with the adoption of the package of amendments are related to how the list of goods will be formed under which retailers will have to give half of the retail space to local producers. In this regard, they note, for example, that in the very recent past, due to the shortage of high-quality domestic-produced apples, individual networks imported significant volumes — up to 1,000 tons — of this product from April to May from Poland. In other words, it will be difficult for retailers to form a wide range of products mainly from local products, especially off-season.

Taking this circumstance into account, the draft law includes clauses suggesting the development of normative acts on the procedures for quarterly updating the list of domestic goods with preferential access to the shelves of supermarkets of the Republic of Moldova. It is also expected that the law will enter into force six months after its adoption by Parliament. The author of the bill, deputy speaker of the parliament, Alexander Slusar, estimates the chances that the document will be approved by the parliamentary majority as “pretty high.”

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