Government and Bakers Association Reach Agreement, Keeping Bread Prices Stable at $1.75
After days of discussion, the government and the Bakers Association struck an agreement on Friday that kept the price of a 16-ounce loaf of bread from going up. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will be issuing a 25-cent subsidy per load of bread to bakers to keep the retail price at $1.75 and the wholesale price at $1.50. The association had threatened to increase the price of the control good and attributed the proposed uptick to the rising costs of ingredients. CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Servulo Baiza, says GOB will be working with the association to provide a subvention up to the end of this fiscal year.
Servulo Baiza, Chief Executive Officer, Ministry of Agriculture: “That control price has been there since 2008 and I mean the public must realize that 2008 to now the price of the input that the bakers use to produce the bread have gone up significantly. But in an effort to control the cost of living government and the bakers, I must really congratulate the bakers for their cooperation and understanding to work along with us to make sure we can keep the price down for the loaf of bread. Government agreed to the subsidy for the rest of the financial year which ends in March but we will continue to have the dialogue with the baker to ensure the viability of the industry. So government may very well decide to continue the subsidy in the new fiscal year. There are other options that we are exploring I mean there is the whole issue of price control there are many persons who feel that we should no longer have these price controls, that we should leave the market to dictate price. There are the options of us looking at just the markup, to control the markup of the price of staple products bread being one of them and like I said government may opt to once again in the new fiscal year to continue with the subsidy. So the discussion will continue but for right now, for the rest of the financial year government has committed to keep the price as it is.”
The association said in its release on Friday that they will continue to dialogue with GOB.