Bakers raise bread prices

BAKERS have increased the price of bread to $1,40 following government commitment to avail 80% of its foreign currency requirements.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

Last weekend, some bakeries announced a bread price hike to $2,20 from $1,10 citing high production costs, thereby prompting government to spring into action.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday met captains of the industry and business people to find a solution to the deepening economic challenges.

The National Bakers’ Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) said in a statement yesterday that bread had become the “most affordable staple food for Zimbabweans in the current difficult economic conditions”.

“We, therefore, notify the public that the price of a standard loaf should not exceed $1,30 and $1,40 to the wholesale and consumers respectively, flour being at a maximum price of $36,50 per 50kg bag. This watered down increase has been arrived at following the government’s intervention through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe that has committed to avail to the bakery industry at least 80% of its monthly foreign currency requirements from a current maximum of 35% allocation,” NBAZ said.

Bread price rose from $1 to $1,10 in September due to wheat shortages.

Previously, bread price was 90 cents for a standard loaf and $1 for the popular supper loaf, which was taken off the market when shortages started to bite.

NBAZ’s membership includes three of the country’s biggest bakers who control 80% of the market share, Bakers Inn, Proton and Lobels.

NBAZ said the industry had not been spared from price increases of key raw materials and other operational costs.

“The imported inputs in the bread manufacturing and distribution processes have recorded the highest increases, at times exceeding 500%. Among other imported items which have increased drastically are enzymes, baking fats, improvers, gluten, calcium, kwiklocks, premix and spare parts for the factories and distribution vehicles,” it said.