LEADING bakery, Bakers Inn, has reduced the price of its loaf of bread to 90c with effect from yesterday to enhance its affordability by customers.
The development will certainly leave a few cents in the pockets of ordinary Zimbabweans in the wake of a biting liquidity in the economy.
Bakers Inn said it appreciated economic challenges facing the consumer and believe this move will make a difference in the lives of many.
Recently introduced bond coins by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have made trading easier as change is now available in smaller denominations. After the introduction of bond coins the RBZ urged businesses to adopt correct pricing models to enhance competitiveness of the local economy.
The introduction of bread prices comes after similar price cuts in soft drinks, beer and mobile phone tariffs as change is now more readily available. To complement Government efforts in the provision of change, Bakers Inn will from today issue out bond coins to its sales teams to facilitate trade with customers. Bakers Inn said it remained committed to feeding Zimbabwe and assured “the nation that Bakers Inn bread will always be part of every household meal”.
National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe encouraged members to use Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe bond coins in the bread value chain.
This position came after Grain Millers of Zimbabwe, Bakers Association of Zimbabwe and the retailers met the RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya over prices. The idea was part of moral suasion to stakeholders where the three parties want to encourage extensive use of bond coins across the wheat bread value chain.
NBAZ president Mr Givemore Mesoemvura said rounding up of retail prices of bread to $1,00 is no longer fair and necessary after introduction of bond coins. He said they wanted competition among the different brands to be based on quality and packaging. These factors will determine the price of bread.
Meanwhile, Buy Zimbabwe will host the second annual conference tomorrow in order to find ways that can enhance domestic production and supply of bakery products and its inputs at the least cost without compromising competitiveness and consumer welfare, with stronger emphasis on building sustainable business linkages throughout the whole value chain from the farmer to the baker.
The conference is coming against the background of a 20 percent growth in bread output mainly driven by capacity revamping and expansion of local bakeries. However, despite the nascent growth, the bakery industry and its feeder sectors like farming and milling industries are faced with a myriad of challenges. These challenges range from quality issues to pricing bottlenecks, absence of well-coordinated business linkages and an evident lack of trust among the bakeries and suppliers.
Regrettably, if these challenges stay unchecked, Bakeries will either close or opt to import their supplies. Such a scenario will only push the economy deep down the mucky waters and “bread winners” will continue to lose their jobs.