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The Price of Packed Bread to Increase Across the Region

The unwelcome jump in the price of bread is not only isolated to Belize. It’s happening all across the region. The Caribbean Millers’ Association has already written to Governments requesting increases in the price of this important staple. In the Bahamas, for example, that price shot up to a whopping eight dollars! Love News spoke to the CEO of Arawak Media Youri Kemp, who lives in the city of Nassau, who explained that for some time, the cost of living has gotten pricey.

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media: “Number one bakery, Purity Bakery, said they were going up on bread about 30% and usually a loaf of whole wheat bread ran for about $3.25 and now it’s about $4+ so it’s probably even more than 20%, 30%. So we’re getting hit everywhere.” 

Reporter: And this is all bread products?

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media:  “Yeah, all bread products. Yeah.

Reporter: And when you said over $4, that’s what? That’s not American dollars though?

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media:  “Yeah that’s USD, yup. $4USD.” 

Reporter: For one loaf of bread there!?

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media: Yup!”

Reporter: That would be like $8 Belize here. 

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media: “Yup, yup. It’s brutal. It’s brutal. It’s brutal. The cost of living here in Nassau is very expensive and we can’t take much of this anymore. I think, the um, while the government, their hands are tied. They have to work out some way where they could get some kind of alleviation from the United States because really and truly, we’re importing all this inflation and if they can’t strike a deal with the U.S. Government where they could get some kind of a reduced rate or if they can start producing things here locally then nothing’s going to happen here. So that’s where it is. We’re just in this inflationary pressure bubble that we just can’t get out of and it’s just sad really.”

Reporter: I mean at $8, $8 Belize, a loaf of bread, a lot of people will stop eating bread. You know? How about flour there? The price of a sack of flour?

Youri Kemp, CEO Arawak Media:  “I haven’t really monitored the price of flour because, like I said, we get everything second hand. I’ll have to talk to some of the bakeries here to see how they’re faring with the price of flour but I know the largest bakery owner had told me, because of the high price in flour that he has to pay for he has to pass down the price of bread to us. So, I know he’s feeling the pinch.”

The Millers’ Association President, Derrick Nembhard says that not only was the increase in wheat being felt since the start of last year, but external challenges like the drought in Canada and the Russian invasion of the Ukraine are driving up the prices. In addition to the high cost of fuel and overall operating costs, millers say that it is inevitable the consumers will have to pay more.