Rabat - Several dozen public personalities have signed a statement calling for the boycott against Centrale Danone to be suspended, arguing that the company should now be given time to prove its loyalty to its recent declarations on its pricing policy.
Rabat – Several dozen public personalities have signed a statement calling for the boycott against Centrale Danone to be suspended, arguing that the company should now be given time to prove its loyalty to its recent declarations on its pricing policy.
“The boycott campaign in which we participated was never meant to destroy any investor’s efforts in our country. The goal was to compel capital owners, shareholders, and investors to respect market rules and regulations regarding price and competition,” the statement said.
Centrale Danone has heard the message
The group noted that Centrale Danone’s executive board has accepted citizens’ demands for a “fair and affordable price,” and said their call to suspend the boycott is solely meant to grant Centrale Danone and consumers sufficient time to “experiment” the new pricing model the dairy company has promised to implement.
“Our call is a reaction to Centrale Danone’s recent proposals. We want boycott campaigns to remain citizens’ means to make similar demands in the future. For this reason, we are asking Moroccans to suspend the boycott for ten weeks, from July 7 to September 14.”
In the aftermath of a nation-wide boycott that started April 20, Centrale Danone, whose high prices angered consumers, experienced a considerable drop in its market share of dairy products.
The dairy firm announced on June 4 that the boycott had had a “very significant impact” on its business, causing a net loss of MAD 150 million in its revenue during the first half of 2018.
Amid the company’s concerns about its decreasing market share and its worsening reputation, the French company’s CEO, Emmanuel Faber, travelled to Morocco to “personally address” the consequences of the boycott on the company’s financial returns and market reputation.
Faber said that he had come to listen to Moroccans and try to change the situation. He called the boycott a “strong message” and promised that his company would spare no efforts to reconcile with consumers.
Protecting the market
The call for the suspension, whose signatories include academics, consumers and workers’ advocacy groups, journalists, and political party representatives, noted that the 10 weeks would be an opportunity to see whether Centrale Danone has taken consumers’ demands seriously.
The statement also called on the government to introduce institutional measures to guarantee a free market, free of monopolies and dubious pricing. “Consumers’ needs and demands should be an integral part of the pricing process,” they declared.
The group also noted that both the government and citizens have a “solemn” obligation to protect market standards by ensuring affordable prices and perfect competition in commodity markets.