According to Maria do Céu Antunes, the measure, which will be embodied in the placement of this seal on products or on their packaging, is part of the initiative of the Price Observatory, supervised by the ministry, which evaluates transparency throughout the value chain in the agri-food sector.

"We have to identify the problems and have measures that make the entire food chain a fair system for farmers, for processing, transport, large and small retailers and for the consumer", said the official.

The minister pointed out that this symbol that certifies the fair price, which will advance after the Observatory's assessments are known, later this year, will guarantee "that no one suffers losses and that conditions for sustainability of the entire food chain have been created".

"We believe that, with this, the consumer, when they go to the supermarket to buy their products, can choose with conviction that nobody has been left anyone behind", added the minister.

Maria do Céu Antunes guaranteed that the Government continues to work to “create a fair chain”, even recognising that there are still some asymmetries, namely with the loss of income for farmers, which the ministry promises to support.

“The data show that in production there is a drop in income for farmers, mainly due to the increase in production costs, of around 14%. There has already been an increase in support given to the sector, of 2.6%, but it is still not enough to prevent this decrease in income”.

The minister guaranteed that additional support funds continue to be negotiated with the European Commission to combat the inflation crisis, which also affects the sector, and that these will be complemented with appropriations from the State Budget.

“In addition to regular support, we know that these extraordinary aid may not be enough to cancel out the effect of these successive crises on production and consumers. Therefore, we are mobilizing everything in our power to mitigate these effects”, assured Maria do Céu Antunes.

Price freeze?

On the possibility of creating extra protection for consumers, setting, for example, a freeze on the prices of essential goods, the minister considered it “too premature to talk about concrete measures”.

“We cannot create expectations that we cannot respond to. In addition, it can create conditions to separate the different elements of the food chain and pit them against each other. It is everyone's problem, which has to mobilize us all, in order to have sustainable answers”, she added.

In this context of a joint mobilization, the Minister of Agriculture and Food announced that on the 22nd of March, there will be a meeting of the Platform for Monitoring the Relationships in the Food Chain (PARCA), with representation from the governmental areas of Agriculture and Economy and all the elements of the chain, from production to distribution.

The minister also mentioned that within the scope of PARCA a permanent subcommittee will be created, with representation from various bodies, to “look at what is happening throughout the [agro-food] chain and make concrete proposals that lead to political measures”.