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Bakers Request an Increase in the Price of Packed Bread

On Tuesday, Love News broke the story of an impending increase in the price of bread and flour. As we reported, bakers across the country have formally requested that the control price of bread is adjusted upward. Similarly, millers have also made a formal request to have the control price of flour increased. The decision will be made by Cabinet. As it relates to flour, millers from across the region have made similar requests. In fact, the Caribbean Millers’ Association wrote to ministries of governments last month. In that letter, the Secretary, Derrick Nembhard says that the three main classes of wheat used in the Caribbean show a steady increase in cost from the beginning of 2021, climbing more steeply by mid-2021 as a result of drought conditions in Canada and skyrocketing in February 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nembhard says that (quote) “With Russian and Ukrainian wheat accounting for close to thirty percent of the world’s exported wheat this has affected not only the price of the commodity but also the logistics and transportation. This event has manifested itself primarily in loading terminals only choosing to load one wheat class per vessel and when required charging a premium to load an additional wheat class, which is a requirement for many Caribbean millers. The situation with Russia, also being a major gas and oil supplier worldwide has increased the cost of ocean freight exponentially.” (end of quote) According to Nebmhard, these factors have led to imminent price increases in the cost of producing flour due to increase of greater than 40% in the cost of raw materials. He says (quote) this, coupled with increases in the cost of fuel and overall operating cost, is unsustainable by any manufacturing entity and therefore must be ultimately passed on in some measure to the consumer.” (end of quote)