Price rises and the risk of inflation in the medium term not only slows down, but increases with each passing day. And it is no longer just the light because it is also reaching the shopping cart, the food. Ignacio González, president of Aecoc, has inaugurated the annual congress of the association of manufacturers and distributors of the mass consumption sector, issuing a clear warning about the major problems that, he said, threaten the recovery, warning of a rise in prices and problems in the supply chain.

“Energy costs, rising raw materials, and problems with transportation and supply are already impacting the CPI and there is a real risk to recovery“He has sentenced. In this sense, he has placed special emphasis on” the lack of chips, containers and containers “, which are affecting the supply chain,” with a rise of more than 300% in maritime freight “. This line has ensured that “although I do not think there are supply problems, it is true that it is a threat that is there.”

“We are facing a perfect storm and there will be a lot of tension because our margins are very tight,” stressed González, who recalled, in this same sense, that there is already an increase in prices in agricultural and livestock products.

The added problem, moreover, is that “from now on there is no forecast of a decline, but rather the other way around and the situation may get worse in the coming months“.

Along the same lines, the president of Aecoc has warned that “we are facing enormous regulatory pressure” in the face of “an uncertain and complicated economic scenario”, despite the growth of the Spanish economy, with accumulated accumulated in the first half of 1 , 1% “if only because of the rebound after the fall produced by the crisis, which was less than in the previous one thanks to the protection of the Erte, but which has been radical and rapid.” Faced with this scenario, the manager has been restrictive: “we will not regain the 2019 level until early 2023“.

High level of savings

As positive data, González highlighted the high level of household savings, which exceeds the average of 120,000 million euros in recent years, mainly due “to the fact that consumers are being cautious about the situation of uncertainty and that there is money that It has not been possible to spend due to the closure of, for example, the hotel business “. The key, in his opinion, “is to regain consumer confidence and for that it is essential that there is security and that uncertainty ends”.

Fiscal unit

González has asked the different political administrations “to be heard”, demanding “a fiscal market unit” that respects the consumer’s freedom of choice, without using taxes to try to change habits. “If taxes were used for that, it would be years since we would have finished with tobacco,” he assured, adding that “Spain passes 12,000 laws a year and that causes enormous delays in entrepreneurship.”

As an example, the president of Aecoc has highlighted the packaging law and the non-reusable tax, “which puts consumption and employment at risk.” Despite all this, he recalled that “during the pandemic, we had an absolutely exemplary industry compliance, being the best in all of Europe” and warning that “the challenges that come in the future will ask us for a unity of action.”

Economic motor

As he stressed, “during the Covid, the consumer has realized our importance. We were reliable, robust and committed” and now “we must lead the recovery.” For the manager, also CEO of the Pescanova Group, “as the engine of the Spanish economy, the recovery of the mass consumption sector, which represents 20% of GDP with more than 4.5 million jobs, is essential”.

Digitization and sustainability

Finally, González has placed a special emphasis on digitization and sustainability. On the one hand, online food commerce has grown by nearly 75% in the last year, mainly thanks to older consumers, according to the latest Aecoc studies. And, on the other hand, “the consumer has changed rapidly and demands more sustainability from us”, reducing, for example, the use of plastics.

González (Aecoc): “We lead sustainability and digitization projects for 1,735 million with European funds”