Sir Louis tells retailers  cut flour, bread prices
March 27, 2009
Sir Louis tells retailers cut flour, bread prices

Local bakers and other retailers have been implored to reflect the decrease in world flour prices in the cost of their bread and flour.{{more}}

The call came from Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker at a press conference held last Friday, March 20th. Straker, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade, acknowledged that despite the “escalating increase” over the past two years in the price of commodities, a “downward trend” has been seen in the price of flour since September 2008. As of March 16th, 2009, flour is being sold at $1.23 – 1.26 per pound, depending on the region. This is a significant reduction from September 2008 when flour was priced at $1.41 – 1.44 per pound – a slash of 18 cents.

Expressing his concern that local retailers have not yet reflected the decrease in the prices of bread and flour, Straker reminded them that it is imperative that the production price of all goods be mirrored in their cost. Straker pointed out that neither the quality nor quantity of bread produced has increased to justify the cost remaining the same.

An appeal was made to bakers to rectify this issue as soon as possible, as they (the bakers) are making greater profits at the expense of the consumer. “You cannot engage in activity that would be taking advantage of the consuming public!” Straker insisted. He further added: “We’re trying to use gentle persuasion and encourage our bakers to pass on the savings… to the consumers. We’re hoping that we can see this reduction very soon by the quality and quantity of the bread.”

Straker warned that although his Ministry does not want to engage in any “jaw-boning” or legal measures, it will have no other alternative if the retailers do not comply. “We must give the consumers a break! If they (the retailers) are going to enrich themselves at the expense of the consumers, then we will have to look very carefully and see what measures we can take in order to make sure that they do not… gouge the customers… We are not asking the bakers to make any sacrifice…”

The reduction in fuel costs was also discussed. Straker informed the public that as of March 9th, 2009, gasoline went down to $8.80 per gallon; diesel – $8.10 per gallon, and kerosene – $7.95 per gallon. This decrease follows highs of approximately $14 per gallon last year.

Straker expressed: “The public can feel a sense of relief and satisfaction that the burden they have had to bear… is no longer the same as it was a year or two ago.” (JSV)