Bid to reduce suppliers' power

PARIS: The French government has agreed to reduce the power suppliers have over retailers after hypermarket chain Leclerc launched a press advertising campaign attacking major food brands for increasing their prices and called on the government to intervene. Hikes cited in the ad included 32% for pasta and 18% for dairy products. French law does not allow retailers to negotiate on price with suppliers, which means the balance of power lies in the hands of big manufacturers. However, the government is to present a draft reform bill to parliament as part of a move designed to benefit consumers. The news came in the same week French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced commercial planting of GM crops in France had been suspended.