Abdulkadir Özkan: "The problem starts in the field"

Abdulkadir Özkan: "The problem starts in the field"
Date: 22.9.2021 17:00

Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Özkan writes on exorbitant prices in Turkey. Here is the full article.

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When it comes to price increases, chain markets come to mind. However, for years, the only responsible for the excessive price increases, especially in agricultural products, were the wholesale market hall tradesmen. In a way, prices were determined in wholesale market hall. As time passed, chain markets came into play, and it seems that they have come to a decisive position in agricultural products. President Erdoğan made a statement that “We will quickly remove the price difference in chain markets”. In response to this statement, the explanation "If the applied agricultural policy is wrong, raid as much as you want, you cannot reduce exorbitant prices with detective methods" began to be reflected in the media. In fact, it is certain that there is a problem, because although the prices of agricultural products on the shelves are increasing as a result of the agricultural policies implemented, the agricultural producer cannot gain anything from these increased prices. Because producer inflation in agriculture has reached its peak. As such, while producer prices increase, our farmers cannot gain anything from the increased prices, and consumers are crushed by the increasing prices. In other words, there is such a system in question that both the producer and the consumer end up being harmful. As such, agricultural policies need to be reviewed first.
What is the share of chain markets in exorbitant price increases? Can prices be lowered by controlling these markets? It is possible to give different answers to these questions. However, it is not possible for the rulers of this country to get rid of the responsibility of the situation that has arisen by placing all the blame on the chain markets. Especially when chain markets were opening branches in every province and district, it was necessary to think that they would soon establish a dominance in the market. If the dominance in the market was established, the hand of the chain marketers would become stronger. It happend like that. Because it was possible to see that a market chain with a nationwide number of stores of 10 thousand would be strong both when buying goods from the market and determining prices for sales. In this respect, a radical solution to the problem should be sought by giving up turning chain stores into scapegoats. Moreover, the dominance of chain markets in the market is not only related to the purchase of goods. Neighborhood grocers no longer have a place and a place in front of the market stores opened in almost every neighborhood. So, now a new type of market is emerging.
In addition, for example, it is possible for a new product to be released to the market to take its place on the market shelves, let alone imposing a certain price, and even having to give money to the top. I hope this point has not been reached yet. There is another dimension of the event that should not be overlooked. Chain markets are increasingly creating and launching their own brands for many products. Thus, a new product meets customers all over Turkey in a very short time, and some products that have been on the market for years cannot withstand this competition. In other words, their own brands created by the markets gain a certain place in the market. Beyond that, these market chains are generally based in Istanbul. I don't care where their centers are. They have to send the income they get from the sales they make in every corner of Turkey to a single center. In other words, markets in a province and district of Anatolia send the revenue they receive from that region in return for sales to their centre, and it does not contribute to that province and district.
As a result, we can say that pointing out chain stores as the sole responsible for price increases in free market conditions means both trying to make things easy and acquitting those who have been indifferent to developments since the beginning, which is not correct. On the one hand, you will say that we are practicing a free market economy, and then you will remain silent about the creation of a monopoly on the market, this approach is not fair.


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