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Bread Price Hike: A Necessary Measure, Says Minister Andre Perez

Minister of the Blue Economy and stakeholder in the bakery industry, Hon. Andre Perez, addresses the nationwide bread price increase, highlighting economic pressures and industry challenges.

Minister and banking industry stakeholder, Andre Perez, says the increase was necessary.

Speaking as both a government official and a bakery owner, Perez commended bakers for their patience and resilience in the face of rising production costs. "The bakers have been very tolerant and patient, working with the government on price controls," he said, recognizing the impact of inflation on essential ingredients beyond just flour.

The government had previously subsidized bread prices to ease the burden on bakers, but Perez noted that continued subsidies are unsustainable. "The government cannot subsidize everything," he stated, adding that bakers, who provide an essential service, also need to make a profit. Consequently, the price of bread has increased by 35 cents per loaf.

Perez emphasized that this increase is a justified compromise. He also pointed out that shopkeepers had been selling bread above the controlled price, profiting from the difference, while bakers sold at controlled wholesale prices. "With the increase of 35 cents, it should be difficult for shopkeepers to further raise prices, as they've been making that difference," he explained.

Addressing concerns about the timing of the price hike amidst high living costs, Perez noted, "Raising prices on essential products never has good timing. We could have done it last year, around Christmas, or now. The reality is that prices of many other products have also gone up."

In closing, Perez urged consumers to understand the necessity of the price adjustment, hoping that shopkeepers would absorb the increase to attract business. "Bread is an essential product, a hook to attract customers to buy other items. I'm expecting that smart shopkeepers will absorb the cost increase," he said.

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