Belize’s Bakers’ Association Takes Matters Into Their Own Hands, Announces Price Hike for Bread Amid Government Silence
Belize’s Bakers’ Association is looking to take matters into their own hands to raise the cost of sliced and unsliced breads. The intention came through a letter emailed to our newsroom, saying that they are tired of waiting on a response from government, and have collectively decided to proceed in raising prices. Vic Chu, a representative for the association, told Love News that they have written three times to the government, between June and November, but there has been no concrete response. With that in mind, Chu says that come December 18, they plan to raise their prices for the 16-ounce sliced pack bread to two dollars and twenty five cents (wholesale) to two dollars and fifty cents (retail).
Vic Chu, Representative, Belize Bakers Association: “We have been communicating with the government for the past ten months and there was no response. Also about this press release it was forwarded to the government like two to three weeks ago so they are very clear about the move. They say they would discuss in the Cabinet before when they contact us. However we have been waiting for the Cabinet for the past two Cabinets and there was no response from either Cabinet release.”
Lennox Nicholson, the Director for Supplies Control Unit, commented on the matter, saying that there could be consequences should the Bakers’ Association carry out with their plans for an unauthorized price increase.
Lennox Nicholson, Consumer Protection Inspector: “Well the Baker’s Association has in fact been in touch with the Government of Belize in particular my office. There is a procedure and a process for changing the control price of any item that is listed on one of those schedules. That procedure involves the government having the Attorney General’s Ministry preparing a statutory instrument and having that statutory instrument gazetted. Then an only then as far as I’m aware would there be any change to the control price for the product in question. The Bakers Association are law abiding people. The regulated item in this case, the 16 ounce sliced bread we would treat it like any other product that is on one of our schedules. If there is a violation we would address it in the same manner that we would address violations of any other price regulated or price controlled good.”
Late this evening, Minister of Enterprise, Jose Abelardo Mai, informed our newsroom that he has scheduled a meeting with the Bakers’ Association for tomorrow. We will keep you posted.