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Baker’s assembly will discuss increase of bread prices

SD. Bread, a product of the basic Dominican food basket, and one of those with the greatest demand, occupies the front pages of the newspapers every now and then because of the changes that come about or that are announced that will be made in its prices.

On this occasion, the baker’s grouped under the umbrella of the Union of Medium and Small Flour Industries (UMPIH) once again place the issue before the public, because they have announced an assembly for today, in which they will decide on the new increase in the price of bread on the order of some 20% which will put the unit of this food at RD$6.00.

From 2002 until today the price of bread has increased by 400%.

With today’s price of RD$5.00 for a “pan de agua” (the most popular in the Dominican market), a family of six members that consumes 12 units a day, because it is easy to prepare as a food, and which also can be eaten by itself, would be spending RD$1825 of its budget just for this product each month.

This amount which a Dominican family could be investing monthly in bread signifies 16.1% of the highest minimum salary in the country, which at the present time is RD$11,292.

At this time an increase in the price of bread is not justified, because the raw materials have experienced a fall in prices on the international market, according to statements by Altagracia Paulino, the executive director of the National Institute of the Rights of the Consumer (Pro Comsumidor), after the announcement that the bakers would increase the cost of bread.

The president of the Association of Housewives Committees, Ana Bertilia Cabrera, said that with all the increases that mass consumption products have experienced, an increase in the price of bread would be “a final blow to the poorest consumers of the country.”

Cabrera called on the bakers to give the government a little bit of time in order to see what solution they can find for their suggestions in order that no increases in the price of this basic food come about.

She said that Dominicans currently do not have any alternative with which they can substitute bread, because the other options such as plantains and other staples are much more expensive.

The president of the UMPIH, Francisco Capellan, reported yesterday at 3:00 in the afternoon that they have not had any contact with government authorities in order to find a solution to the problem of costs which the bread makers are facing.

He said that the decision to increase or not the price of bread depends on the government, which could avoid it, according to what he explained, by keeping in place the ITBIS exemptions in the purchase of the raw materials made by these industries or find some compensation according to current production.

The bread that has a price of RD$5.00 at the present time is the normal bread that is sold in markets and some supermarkets, but the costs can vary according to the establishment and the specialty.

The behavior of bread prices

In 2002 bread goes up. In 2002, the Union of Small and Medium Flour Industries (UMPIH) announced a 50% price increase for bread, which sent the price to RD$1.50 per unit. The merchants resisted this increase, because it was difficult for the merchants because the RD$.50 coin had disappeared and months later the price went to RD$2.00.

2003 – Bread price goes up. In August 2003, the Bakers threatened to increase bread to RD$3.00 but after an agreement with the government they only increased the price by RD$.50 and the sale price was RD $2.50. But from that date they began to sell bread at RD$3.00 in many of the stores throughout the country.

2007 – Bread price goes up. In 2007 they began to sell a smaller bread at RD$3.00 and one of normal size and RD$5.00. But with the passage of the months, the RD$3.00 disappeared from the market and the market was dominated basically by the bread that cost RD$5.00. After some months, the bakers once again revised their costs in order to “update” their prices.

2008 – Bread price increases. On 2 January, the bakers announced the disappearance of the RD$3.00 bread and the one for RD$5.00 remained alone in the market. The price of the RD$5.00 was backed by Industry and Commerce. Later on, in 2013, the bakers announced another increase in the price of bread and they went on to sell it at RD$7.00 each, but after some negotiations with the government, bread returned to its price of RD$5.00, and it has stayed there until now.

Source: DiarioLibre

March 5, 2015

Category: DR News |

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