Bakers in St Lucia will increase the price of bread in January.
They say flour and other bi-products have increased, including electricity, the main driving force behind their decision
So effective January 2023, the cost of controlled bread, namely white creole bread and pan loaves, will increase.
Minister for Commerce Emma Hippolyte confirmed that the Ministry has been discussing with the Bakers Association Inc. (BAI) since October 2021.
“The Government considered the appeal of the Baker’s Association and commissioned a review of the Sector,” Hippolyte said.
Additionally, she says the Government has been subsidizing flour to bakers.
“The Government purchased flour for EC$99.00 per bag and resold it to bakers at EC$85.00 per bag. The further reduction in the price of flour to bakers took effect on June 01, 2022. A 100 lb bag of white flour was sold to a baker at EC$35.00 for June. The subsidy per bag was $64.00. The cost to the Government/value of the subsidy to bakers in June was EC$501.248.”
And if one has to take into account the spike in the cost of other inputs used by bakers and other global issues, a decision was made to review the price of controlled bread.
“The significant cost to the Government to maintain the current subsidized price of flour sold to the bakers and the fact that the last increase in the price of bread was in 2008, 14 years ago, effective January 01, 2023, the Government approved the increase in the price of controlled bread,” the Commerce Minister said.
“The creole bread, which is now $0.35, will now be $0.45. The pan loaf, which is now $3.60, will now be $4.35 for the small, and the large, which is now $5.40, will now be $6.50.”
President of the Bakers Association, Anthony Bousquet, welcomed the long-awaited increase.