High food prices: prefer special offers to sustainability?

Status: 06/22/2022 09:45 a.m

Larger companies in the EU will have to provide information about the sustainability of their business in the future. At least when shopping for groceries, this criterion seems to take a back seat in view of the high prices for consumers.

According to a survey, rising prices and concerns about food shortages are currently dominating consumer purchasing behavior. This is the result of a representative online survey commissioned by the German Institute for Food Technology (DIL) in Quakenbrück and the state initiative for the food industry in Lower Saxony. From April 21 to 25, almost 1,500 people were interviewed across Germany for the survey.

Accordingly, in the current situation, those surveyed pay particular attention to special offers and cheap groceries. While sustainability was still particularly important for many people during the corona pandemic, climate and environmental protection aspects are now apparently taking a back seat for some consumers.

The reason for this is likely to be the rising food prices: almost 70 percent of those surveyed stated that they sometimes spend significantly more money on food than before the Ukraine war. Around 24 percent stated that they spent the same amount of money on food as before the start of the war.

Food prices are rising rapidly

According to the Federal Statistical Office, food prices rose again significantly in May: Food prices for private households increased last month by 11.1 percent compared to the same month last year. In April, the rate was still 8.6 percent.

Edible fats and oils in particular became significantly more expensive in May, with a plus of 38.7 percent. But meat, dairy products, eggs and bread also posted double-digit inflation rates.

According to the survey, almost 80 percent of those surveyed are concerned about possible food shortages: more than half expect restrictions on cooking oils (67 percent) and staple foods such as flour, sugar or pasta (58 percent) or bread and baked goods ( 36 percent) for likely.

Information about sustainability is becoming mandatory

Meanwhile, regular information about the sustainability of their business is becoming mandatory for larger companies in the European Union. Companies with more than 250 employees and an annual turnover of 40 million euros or more must provide corresponding reports from 2024.

Companies from outside the EU with an annual turnover of at least €150 million would have to comply with equivalent regulations. Negotiators from the EU states and the European Parliament had agreed on this late yesterday evening. Both sides have yet to formally confirm the agreement.

challenges for companies

“Financial and sustainability reporting will be on an equal footing, and investors will finally have access to reliable, transparent and comparable data,” it said. According to the Council of the EU States, exceptions should be possible for small and medium-sized companies in a transitional period until 2028.

The CSU deputy Angelika Niebler described the agreement for the German middle class as unsatisfactory. The fact that small and medium-sized companies listed on the stock exchange “should be obliged to report on sustainability can pose huge challenges for the companies concerned,” said Niebler. “They have to change their processes, hire additional staff and strictly monitor compliance. All of this costs our companies a lot of time and money.”

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