"This is excellent news for consumers, it means that prices are going to be renegotiated lower early, so we will be able to break the inflationary spiral," Le Maire told journalists after meeting with food industry representatives.
French Food Inflation
Despite declines in prices of raw materials on global markets, French food inflation has surged over 15% in recent months after food companies and retailers agreed to an average 10% increase in annual price negotiations in March.
Last week, Le Maire threatened to use tax measures to claw back what he described as undue profits from the food industry if it did not accept talks over the high prices.
Le Maire said on Wednesday that negotiations would take place before the end of the month, which meant that consumers, for example, could see lower prices for pasta as soon as this summer in light of the falling price of wheat.
A joint statement from the ANIA and ILEC food industry federations said the 75 companies that make 80% of French food were called on to renegotiate if selling prices have risen more than the 10% previously agreed and if one of their input prices had fallen more than 20% since 1 March.
"The point of the meeting this morning was to find by common agreement the best way to defend purchasing power," ANIA president Jean-Philippe André told Reuters.