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Minister Coveney publishes report that finds no evidence of excessive pricing in Irish grocery retail market

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD has published the Consumer and Competition Protection Commission’s (CCPC) report, A High-level Analysis of the Irish Grocery Retail Sector. The report was compiled in response to a letter Minister Coveney wrote to the CCPC requesting its views on the grocery retail market.

Minister Coveney TD said:

“In my letter to the CCPC I asked them to look at a range of issues relating to the grocery retail sector. I’m pleased to see in their response to me that they have not found any evidence of excessive pricing in the grocery retail market. Their analysis has also found that competition on price, quality and location has improved in recent years resulting in more choice for consumers.

“I’m very conscious that food prices remain high when compared internationally. This report however finds that food inflation in Ireland has been the lowest in the EU in recent years and that changes in input costs may take time to be passed on to consumers.”

In addition, the CCPC has not seen any evidence that price interventions internationally have benefited consumers and indeed, may actually harm consumers.

Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary TD said:

“I want to thank the CCPC for this important analysis and welcome that the Commission will continue to monitor the grocery retail sector. I note too the CCPC’s own view that they have appropriate powers to carry out their work in this area, including the power to obtain information from traders.”

The report has been published ahead of a Retail Forum meeting tomorrow, which will be chaired by Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond TD who said:

“I very much welcome the price reductions by retailers over recent weeks which should contribute to a further easing of inflation and help with the cost-of-living pressures facing customers. It remains the case that grocery prices are high, and so it is important that retailers continue to pass on the impact of any reduction in input costs on product prices to customers. I look forward to engaging with retailers tomorrow at the Retail Forum, where I intend to receive updates on their work over recent weeks and hear how they will continue to help their customers.”