DACO issues 55 warnings to supermarkets
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) issued 55 warnings to supermarkets for not providing invoices that certify compliance with frozen gross profit margins of packaged meats.
DACO inspectors handed over the complaints during visits conducted to 70 businesses on Friday, May 14, after the agency received reports of an unexpected rise in meat prices. The companies need to submit all related information within five days or face up to $10,000 in fines.
“There is no doubt that the increase is there. The agency will investigate what is behind the rise, and if it is due to external factors, which the supermarkets allege, or if in any way the businesses are hiding excessive or unjustified profits that are affecting the consumer,” said DACO Secretary Edan Rivera Rodríguez.
In a press release, the DACO chief said the agency’s objective during the visits is twofold. “Regarding frozen meats, a maximum gross profit margin is applied to these products. As for fresh meats, the objective was to compare the businesses purchasing price with the price for the consumer to verify if the profits are reasonable,” he said.
Rivera Rodríguez said the agency must remain vigilant to any possible wrongdoing of unjustified price increases.
“Our ultimate goal is to be able to determine what measures will be implemented to reduce this trend and minimize its impact on consumers,” he said.