Processed food prices will grow by up to 10-12 per cent in the next 2-3 months, Sorin Minea, President Romalimenta Federation, stated during a TV show, being quoted by Mediafax. He stated that price hikes have already started and will continue in the aforementioned period. Minea considers that the prices of cooking oil and sugar should no longer grow because there is primary production, the price of bread should reach a plateau and the prices of vegetables and fruits should remain constant because this is the warm period of the year. Unfortunately, Minea considers that nothing can be done to stop food price hikes.
Adrian Radulescu, secretary of state within the Agriculture Ministry, explained the price hikes through the extraordinary hike in the price of cereals – from EUR 120-130 per ton to as much as EUR 260 per ton. He stated that one cannot talk about food prices comparable to the prices of imported food because in the EU the VAT stands at 5 or in some cases at 0 per cent.
Sorin Minea also pointed out that the black market amounts to half of the Romanian agro-food market and everyone knows the great tax dodgers. He added that food prices will remain high as long as the black market holds such a high share. According to the calculations, tax evasion surpasses EUR 1 bln per year on the meat market, representing 50 per cent of that market. Likewise, tax evasion surpasses EUR 1 bln and represents over 70 per cent of the panification market.
Decision on taxing owners of fallow land to be taken at political level
The Agriculture Ministry has prepared a legislative package in order to fine owners that leave their agricultural lands fallow, however the decision will be taken at political level, Adrian Radulescu added. He explained that the package of measures also addresses something that has been missing for a very long time, namely land credit, a method through which farmers could take loans using their land as the only collateral. Asked when the tax on fallow land will be introduced, Radulescu answered that the decision will be taken at political level probably by the end of this year.
Another interesting thing the Agricultural Ministry’s secretary of state added during the aforementioned TV show was the fact that Arab investors want to buy agricultural land in Romania or to form partnerships with Romanian farmers. The Arab investors would take at least 70-80 per cent of the production they finance.