Comprehensive review of baking industry underway – Commerce Minister

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Comprehensive review of baking industry underway – Commerce Minister


Government will soon be taking steps to review the baking industry with the aim of addressing concerns about pricing for bread and other baked products.

Commerce Minister Emma Hippolyte has said that the review will be undertaken in partnership with the Saint Lucia Bakers Association (SLBA). There is no specific time frame in which this exercise could be completed. It will focus on keys issues such as cost and standard, among others.

Hippolyte said the review will allow consumers to understand the type of bread they are buying and the ingredients used to bake them. Commenting on the recent price increase of bread, the minister explained that government only has the authority to control the price for controlled bread.

On Monday, August 11, the SLBA issued a new price list for decontrolled white bread and whole wheat bread, with increases. The association said members have had to absorb the price increases of flour, sugar, water, electricity, ingredients, packaging, as well as the price of gas and diesel.

All packets of white rolls, hamburgers, hot dogs, butter bread, butter loaves and french have now moved from $2 per packet to $2.50 per packet. All packets of whole wheat rolls, loaves, and sandwich have moved from $2.50 per packet to $2.75 per packet.

In light of the recent increase in cost for basic food items, the Saint Lucia National Consumer Association (SLNCA) told Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) that it is deeply concerned and is calling on government to urgently review the list of controlled items.

Vice President of the SLNCA Matthias Polius said consumers are feeling the brunt of the price increases. Polius also voiced his concern regarding the increase price for decontrolled bread.

He said this is not necessary, even though the subsidy has been removed from flour. He also raised concerns that bakers tend to increase the price for bread, based on the shape, using the same ingredients.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I was told that the price of bread in Egypt is the same, today, as it was during the days of the Pharaohs - about a penny.
    The reasoning is that, despite poverty, no Egyptian should go to bed hungry. It's the one thing that every government in Egypt has subsidized, even from ancient times.
    Maybe our government should learn something from them.

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  2. It is a very ignorant view to absolve the government of this predicament. The government knew of this proposed increase a long time. Why didn't they conduct an assesssment before the bakers intoduced the increase. On behalf of ordinary St. Lucians for heavens sake.

    They allowed the increase but since it has not gone down well with the public, the government now comes to issue its crocodile tears solution.

    This is the norm for this government allow or facilitate a bad policy then come and distance themselves from it or give a moronic excuse. Examples are implementation of VAT, removal of subsidies from staples, the ongoing saga with St. Judes, the bakers' increase and the handling of this whole economic slowdown.

    Why hasn't the government given the time to explain what is "price controlled bread?" It won't, because when any situation is confusing then the government uses its veil of "we WILL look into it." Meanwhile everything is at a stanstill while we continue to wait for the reports on lets say Chakadan, IMPACS, Minibus increase, Consensus on wage cut, Taxi increase and now baking review.

    SNO i think you should have done your homework on educating the people on what is "price controlled bread." As they would come to analyse for themselves that bread is bread it is no different whether you make it into a loaf, roll or something else. This is myopic thinking on the part of government.

    THIS GOVERNMENT IS ILL EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH OUR ISSUES SO THEY KEEP ON PILING WITH NO MORE LIGHT SHED ON ANY.

    Kenny please do us a big favor, STEP DOWN. This will be sooo much appreciated that just for having the courage to do it we will remember you as one of the greatest PMs who ever lived. Putting the country before your incompetent self.

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  3. I do not understand. In what appears to be an urgent matter, the minister orders a review, and does not set a deadline for its submission. Am I missing something? SMH

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  4. And plzz stop showing local tv footage ( on news)of an already baked pan bread being handled with bare hands...no gloves....thats disgusting!!

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  5. THat's the problem with this country. Everyone wants to get rich off someone. Yet they don't want to work for it. Not only the bread small but the shit flo. That eh have no sistunce. Dem tiffs. Stop eating bread. Your body will love you for it.

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  6. Tell Emma shut her ass cus her government caused that I've been working in a bakery and my boss didn't raise the price 6 years ago to assist the malaway they put vat on everything the lady cannot afford to produce at a loss anymore so she was forced to now put it .35 which it has already been for the past 6 years... She didn't kno the poor man wld feel it when the big ones squeezing salop

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  7. You know, my mother went to buy $5.00 small loaves on Tuesday.
    She was given 12 small loaves in a Brown Paper-bag.

    I tried to wrap my mind around the justification to this pricing, what mathematical equation did they use and how did they come up with this.
    So overnight, the "so-called" Bakers in this land with their tasteless, bland and WASSY bread have up their profits by nearly 200%.

    So, i am indeed happy that the SLU Government is going to review this pricing. Because it doesn't make sense to me or anyone.
    How can $5.00 = 12 small loaves now?

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