The Spanish consumer rights organisation, FACUA, has conducted a revealing comparative study on the pricing of basic food items within the distribution chain. The study included fruits, vegetables, legumes, eggs, and sunflower oil. The findings show a stunning price hike between the farm and the supermarket.
FACUA discovered that the price of certain basic food items in supermarkets can be up to 875% higher than the price at the source. This significant markup is one of the key conclusions from the consumer rights organisation’s research. The study compared the amount paid to farmers for their products with the prices at which these items are sold to consumers in supermarkets.
Advocacy for double labeling
For years, the consumer organisation has been advocating for the implementation of double labelling. Herewith, the organisation wants to enable consumers to see the price farmers received for the products sold in supermarkets. This transparency would allow consumers to identify which companies are inflating their profit margins the most. Consequently they know which businesses are putting the most pressure on the primary sector to adjust prices.
Rising costs across the board
The study analysed the prices of various items. These include lemons, Fuji apples, onions, lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms, carrots, Conference pears, Golden Delicious apples, sunflower oil, strawberries, eggs, and potatoes. The analysis revealed that supermarket prices for these items are 62 to 875% higher than the prices received by farmers.
Varied supermarket pricing
No single supermarket consistently charged the highest prices for specific products. Aldi and Lidl had the most substantial price increase, charging 875% more for a kilo of lemons. Mercadona was the most expensive for onions, with a 430% price hike over what the farmer received. Hipercor topped the list for mushrooms, apples, and lentils, with price increases ranging from 275 to 596%. Across the board, most products saw a 200 to 400% increase in price from the farm to the supermarket shelf. The price of eggs saw the least markup, with a maximum increase of 141% at Carrefour.
Methodology of the study
The thirteen products compared in FACUA’s study were based on data from the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture regarding prices paid to farmers. The analysis used prices from the first week of January 2024. FACUA compared prices in supermarkets including Mercadona, Dia, Alcampo, Eroski, Lidl, Aldi, Alcampo, and Carrefour on January 2, 3, 8, and 9, 2024.