ANIA, the trade body for the French food industry, has written to Nicolas Sarkozy asking for his support as it seeks to pass on hikes in commodity prices to retailers.

The association says it has written to the French President faced with the “systematic refusal of retailers” to accept increases, leaving negotiations, which are due to be concluded within the next month, at a stalemate.

Highlighting that the French food industry had already lost 7% of its turnover in 2009, ANIA adds that the retailers’ stance is putting the financial health of many of its member firms at risk.

In today’s (25 January) letter to Sarkozy, ANIA president Jean-René Buisson underlines that, in a context of world shortages, increases in commodity costs and energy are inevitable.

However, he adds: “The impact of these costs (which also includes those incurred on packaging and taxes and contributions related to its disposal)  cannot be borne solely by industrial groups and farmers if the food sector is not be damaged and jobs destroyed.” These costs, Buisson said, should be shared intelligently by all parties in the  food industry chain.

Manufacturers are thought to be looking to negotiate increases of between 6% and 20%, although this has not been confirmed by the ANIA.