In order to provide support to Latvian residents during the autumn and winter season, the retail network “Rimi” has identified 100 most demanded food products and first-necessity hygiene products and set a fixed price until the end of the year. The cost will be mostly covered by Rimi, said Inga Bite, spokeswoman of the company.
“It is our responsibility to take on this risk, but of course, we will also work with suppliers, which we will ask to join and support this initiative, so that together we can achieve this goal and really provide real help to our public,” Bite said.
Inara Šure, president of the Council of the Latvian Federation of Food Companies, said the initiative is welcome and that domestic food producers will be prepared to cooperate as far as possible, but there is a significant detail.
“It will be very, very important whether prices will be fixed for Latvian food products or imports. We cannot support the import product with our wallets. This would not be fair to the local producer and the country,” Šure said.
The Rimi spokeswoman said prices would be fixed for both domestic and import products which are the most popular among buyers, but there will be changes to the program in the future.
“The list of 100 products certainly includes local producers as well. I don't know the ratio right now. The next aspect that we plan to look at in the future is the support of local producers,” Bite said.
Price fixing is not at odds with fair trade practices as long as it is the expense of the company itself, according to the Competition Council.
Price fixing is a tool to save buyers' money, but, for example, cutting working time is a way for a trader to save at a time when energy prices are soaring. Two shopping centers, the Akropole Alfa and the Akropole Riga, have taken such steps. For both, the working time has been reduced by one hour.