Published: Thursday June 26, 2008
National Flour Mills (NFM) yesterday advised bakers that the price of flour may increase by 29 per cent from the beginning of next month.
President of the Bakers’ Association Leon Phillips disclosed this yesterday.
This follows price increases late last year and as recently as March when the price of flour went up by about 40 per cent.
Phillips said the association was told about the possible increase during a meeting with NFM officials.
Phillips said the bakers asked NFM for a two week grace period before raising prices but NFM gave no assurances.
Phillips said the association advised the NFM that it would not be wise to raise prices again in light of recent increases.
“We told them they have to do something better than that. Of course, they increased the price of flour by roughly 40 per cent in March and before that late last year,” he said.
Another member of the association, at yesterday’s meeting and asked not to be named, said if prices are raised again, some bakeries may go out of business.
“Since the last increases in March, I have lost 20 to 25 per cent of my sales. My production has dropped significantly since the last increases. We are saying how much more can people take? It looks as if soon we will be going out of business.”
The baker also said NFM was justifying its increase by saying that they have been running at a loss since wheat prices rose last year and that is why it must increase prices. The member said despite the likely increase the bakeries have no other choice but to buy from NFM.
“There is nowhere else to purchase from, so regardless of what they do or say we have to buy from them or close down,” the member said.
NFM yesterday declined comment on the price increases and said it would release a statement today.
Bakers’ Association president Leon Phillips said yesterday the price of a loaf of hops bread is now about 90 cents. He said if the price of flour increase the price of a hops bread would go up to around one dollar.
He said the price of a loaf of sliced bread would also go up by roughly 60 to 75 cents.
Source: Trinidad Guardian Newspapers