Accounts not published Lactalis or Bigard: stiffer penalties

The agri-food conglomerates that do not publish their annual accounts shall be further punished, decided Wednesday that deputies in the commission, targeting companies such as Lactalis or Bigard, in the framework of the examination of the draft law agriculture and food.

An amendment adopted during consideration of the text in the committee on economic Affairs, intends to strengthen the effectiveness of the system of sanctions provided by the law Fir II. It is led by the elected MoDem Richard Ramos, it was co-signed by over 60 mps from seven political groups and the FN.

Before the Sapin law II any breach of the obligation to file its accounts could be penalised with a fine of 1,500 euros, increased up to 3.000 euros in case of recidivism. The Sapin law II provided that the president of the Observatory on formation of prices and margins of food products could “apply to the president of the tribunal of commerce, in order that this last address, to the company an injunction to do so promptly under penalty of a fine”.

Hit to the wallet

Finding this device to be “insufficient”, the adopted amendment deletes the intervention of the president of the observatory, and entrust it directly to the president of the tribunal of commerce the mission of speak to these companies to injunctions under penalty of a fine. The penalty can go up to “2% of the average daily turnover for” per day of delay.

In January, the same amendment had been submitted to the vote within the framework of the examination of the draft law on the right to error, but it had not been adopted, the government, returning then to the text carried by the minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert. In September 2017, Maxence Bigard, son of the CEO of the French number one of the meat-Jean-Paul Bigard, had caused an outcry during a hearing in refusing to answer the questions of the members, particularly on the non-publication of accounts of his business.

Interrogated by the same commission, a representative of the large dairy group Lactalis had also firmly denied mid-September to the disclosure of the group’s accounts. Since then, the company has deposited to the accounts of several dozens of companies, but not the consolidated accounts of the group. The deputies had discussed Wednesday at the mid-day, one-third of the more than 1,800 amendments to the draft law, a record. The text will arrive in the chamber starting may 22.

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