Belgium to ban BOGOF for fresh food?

Buy One Get One Free, BOGOF, is a sales technique adopted by supermarkets the world over, but Belgium could soon join a select group of countries including France that have banned the practice. The Flemish Christian democrats are tabling legislation to stop BOGOF in its tracks.

The Flemish Christian democrats’ Leen Dierick concedes that at first sight BOGOF may look like a good thing for consumers, but counters that only the big chains can keep it up. “The baker around the corner or that specialised store in town could disappear as a result of excessive promotions on fresh produce.  Even smaller supermarkets will struggle to stick the course”.

Dierick maintains promotions like these are bad news for farmers and consumers: “Farmers don’t get an honest price.  As a result they have less scope to invest in sustainable and animal-friendly production.  They are obliged to look for cheaper alternatives of inferior quality”.

“The farm sector is under incredible pressure and faces many challenges.  It’s important to control food production ourselves.  This bill will contribute towards fair prices and profit margins that allow sustainable and animal friendly investments”. 

The Christian democrats have the support of Unizo, the association of independent retailers, while Comeos that represents the supermarkets warns the bill will make your weekly shop more expensive.  BOGOF, it argues, can also prevent waste following bumper harvests.

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