Of all the locally manufactured products in Belize, sugar has been at the centre stage more than the others. It is a commodity that is used in all households and just eleven days ago the cost of the sweetener was upped by twenty five cents. While there hasn’t been much outcry from the public on the increase of the sugar price, businesses that do use the product may have to look at their bottom line and decide whether this increase in sugar will result in an increase of their goods. Casa Pan Dulce is a bakery with branches on Ambergris Caye, in Belmopan and in Santa Elena Town; the owner, Andre Perez told the media over the weekend that he and fellow bakers are looking at alternatives as price increases would be hard on consumers.
“As I mentioned, sugar is a key component in the baking industry as much as flour and other things. The hardest thing is to go and just try to raise price on products because you have to take customers into consideration but we are looking at other options. If you look at it some of it I saw on Facebook and social media and in some of the grocery stores it’s at .80 cents a pound already.”
Perez went on to note that he feels the increase was too much.
“To increase 50% is ridiculous. I can expect an increase as well but not ot 50%. You’re telling me then that a loaf of bread is going from $1.50 to $3.00, what are you gonna hear. It’s totally unjustified, uncalled for and it’s abuse. What hurts me is that nobody is saying anything.”
As Perez mentioned, there are some areas that are selling sugar for more than the seventy five cents per pound as set by the Belize Bureau of Standards. One resident from Dangriga called in to The Morning Show today saying sugar was priced at eighty five cents per pound in one store while photos on Facebook has shown shelves of sugar at eighty cents per pound. In speaking with the Belize Bureau of Standards today we were told that the ceiling for a pound of sugar is seventy five cents across the board and that consumers are encouraged to report price gouging to the Consumer Protection Unit of the Belize Bureau of Standards.