Maxima promises not to raise prices for local fruit and vegetables from January 1, Rimi and Lidl will work on pricing programs

  • 2023-12-29
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - In response to the increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate, retailer Maxima Latvija will "freeze" the prices of Latvian vegetables and fruit from January 1, while retailers Rimi and Lidl did not give a specific answer on whether they will join such an initiative, adding that they will continue to work on existing and new price programs.

Representatives of Maxima Latvija told LETA that the company will cover a part of the VAT rate increase from its own funds and will maintain the current price for certain products after December 31.

The representatives of Maxima Latvija promise to publish more information about the initiative and the products for which the current price will be maintained at the beginning of January, adding that special labelling will also be created for the specific products.

Dana Hasanas, the Head of the Communications Department at Lidl Latvija, told LETA that despite the VAT rate changes, which will be applied to locally sourced vegetables and fruit, the company will keep its promise to provide the best price for everyday food products, extending it to fruit and vegetables as well. "We will continue to do so," she said.

Meanwhile, Inga Bite, public relations manager at Rimi Latvia, told LETA that in response to the VAT rate changes, Rimi plans to focus on promotional pricing from January 1 and will continue to offer good deals on fruit and vegetables. The program, which started at the end of the year, where children can pick up fruit for free during their parents' visit to the store, will also continue.

Bite promised to provide more information on the fruit and vegetable program in Rimi stores in early January.

As reported, on December 7 the Saeima adopted amendments to the VAT law in its final reading, introducing for one year a reduced rate of 12 percent for fresh fruit, berries and vegetables.

The current 5 percent VAT rate on fruit and vegetables is valid until December 31, 2023. The rate was originally set at 21 percent from January 1, 2024, in a draft law promoted by the government, but following a proposal by coalition politicians, the Saeima decided to apply the 12 percent rate for one year.

It has also been reported that Maxima Latvija posted a turnover of EUR 974.643 million last year, up 6.5% year-on-year, while its profit fell 3.2% to EUR 30.574 million.