For its part, Gustavo Lazzari, from Chamber of Chacinados (Caicha), an entity that makes up Copal, opined that price control “is going to fail”, because it considered that “the increase in prices is the consequence of the monetary issue.” In addition, he said that the State will not be able to implement it: “There are 270 thousand food outlets, 15 thousand producing companies, and supermarkets sell only 30% of the food.”
“The Copal logo is a penguin, because it was formed to oppose the price freezes, I think they do not work,” said Lazzari, SME businessman and member of Copal, although he clarified that his opinions are personal. The candidate on Ricardo López Murphy’s list ruled out the existence of monopolies, considering that, in the case of refrigerators, there are more than 300 throughout the country, and that none exceeds 20% of the market.
Meanwhile, Juan Airoldes, president of the Union of Industrial Fidereros (Uifra), another chamber that makes up Copal, also spoke out against the government’s measure. He explained that the freeze occurs in the final product, as happened with Resolution 100 of Maximum Prices, which lasted 15 months, where prices were frozen, but there were cost increases in wages, fuel, plastics, wheat, electricity and gas. “Rates do go up for industrialists,” he said.
“Companies can lose money for the product that is frozen, the largest can bank it, but if you put the same conditions for everyone, you do a lot of damage to the SME, putting pressure on the big ones they end up conditioning all”, assured Airoldes in dialogue with this newspaper. The head of the industrial chamber of noodles assured that they are the ones that would be most impacted, because it is where there is more variety both in Care Prices and Super Close. He believed that it is an industry that is already “oversupplied” in the gondolas, and that they do not need an anchor: “A $ 60 package of noodles costs less than an alfajor,” he said.
As for what possible solutions could be implemented to stabilize prices of the basic basket, Airoldes considered that they are “in favor of free competition”, but that in this situation they are willing to “put their shoulders” and negotiate within programs such as the of Careful Prices, or that a specific chain that presents distortions is reviewed. For Lazzari, the solution would go through an “announcement of a supply shock”, with measures such as “lowering the tax burden or eliminating the trial industry.”
Outside the Copal, other businessmen were in favor of the freeze. Víctor Fera, owner of maxiconsumo and Marolio, assured that it is key to give a “relief to the pockets of the consumers”. For its part, Daniel Rosato, manufacturer of cleaning products, assured Ámbito that he is “in favor” of these measures to “sustain prices”, but said that the problem is that costs continue to rise, especially due to the increase in energy and raw materials . In his case, for the production of toilet paper, he stated that there was a shortage of recycled paper, and for that, he believed that imports of this input should be made more flexible.
In addition, Rosato said that measures should be taken for locally produced inputs: “To freeze prices, you have to work throughout the chain, where the increases begin, in the case of steel it rose 24% in dollars in 4 months, all the inputs disseminated have to freeze too ”.