School canteens are trying to limit inflation

Mayors, parents of students, and managers of school canteens (public or private) are concerned about the possibility of inflation.

School canteens are trying to limit inflation

Mayors, parents of students, and managers of school canteens (public or private) are concerned about the possibility of inflation. Inflation will cause an increase in the cost of food at canteens starting at the beginning of each school year. This will put a strain on both the household budgets as well as the budgets of local authorities.

According to Bernard Gault (acting CEO of Elior), the prices of some raw materials increased "extremely violently" in the first quarter. He said that milk rose 16%, rice rose 13% and ground beef rose 22%. This is an average increase of 12% per year. Elior supplies 1,300 schools canteens.

He said that it was not only the war in Ukraine. The return to inflation in raw materials prices is an underlying trend. This is in addition to other events like drought and avian influenza. AFP. According to OFCE, French households' purchasing power will decrease by 0.8% in 2022 because of inflation at 4.9% per year.

Bernard Gault assures that Elior negotiates each contract with customers to preserve margins and not compromise on quality. Damien Penin is the general manager of France's education market. He explains that one of the levers is to reduce the number of dishes or replace certain animal protein, or reduce portions, and consume less energy by slow, nocturnal cuisine.

Anti-waste recipes like French toast or carrot top puff pastries were once unpopular among families before the rise in prices. He says that there is an "accelerating trend" to offer more vegetarian meals such as Lyon or Paris (for 2023).

However, collective catering companies that manage 40% of schools canteens in a public service delegation (the remaining 60% being managed by municipalities directly) will eventually have to raise their prices.

Bernard Gault argues that a 5% inflation "entirely consumes the margins of Elior". You can't survive on losses. The local community must absorb the increased costs. They either increase their taxes or ask beneficiaries to accept a price rise.

Similar to Compass, its competitor, Compass is also renegotiating its contracts via its subsidiary Scolarest, which serves 500 school cafeterias in France.

He says that buying "whole carcasses of beef and not just the front parts" is a great way to reduce inflation and give an economic balance to farmers.

It is crucial to make contracts with local authorities more "flexible" in order to raise prices "more often than once a calendar year" in order to pass on the increase in raw material costs.

Sodexo will bear the brunt of the inflation in Marseille. It manages the city’s 320 school canteens. Pierre Huguet is the deputy mayor. responsible for education. "Attentively paying attention to the situation" at its suppliers, the city could accept, "on basis of supporting documentation", an increase in Sodexo's price invoiced if the "situation became more critical".

Philippe Laurent (vice-president of Association of Mayors of France) recently stated that in France, one out of two cities will raise canteen prices to meet the "5-10%" increase in meal prices from its suppliers.

Nageate Belhacen (co-president of FCPE parents' association), worries that some families won't allow their children to use the canteen anymore. She also wants an increase in back-to school allowance or "free meals".

"State, local authorities, and consumers" should make "efforts to keep social cooking going", alarm the actors in collective catering in a collective texte to be published Wednesday June 15, as these budgetary problems degrade "the quality" of purchases: less organic, ...".labeled products

Restau'co warns that if Restau'co does not take action and federates collective catering under direct supervision, then the budgets for 2022 school canteens "will have been consumed in mid-September."

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