Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Reported increase in flour prices not approved by government

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A report on the increased price of flour has raised eyebrows among the many Belizeans who enjoy flour tortillas, fry jacks, and of course, pack bread every day. The increase reportedly reflected the popular ‘La Gitana’ and ‘Bebe Agua’ flour brands. With the rise in this staple, the same was expected with bread, buns, and pastries. While in San Pedro Town, the local bakery did not confirm an increase in their prices, the government’s Supplies Control Unit (SCU) of the Belize Bureau of Standards issued an official note on Wednesday, August 4th pointing out that there has been NO CHANGE to the controlled price for Bebe Agua and La Gitana flour in the marketplace.

The price of La Gitana was to increase by $2 beginning August. The release from the SCU explained that such changes in pricing would require discussions within the Belize ADM (flour mill) and ultimately approved by the Government of Belize. The reports of price increases above the controlled prices are, therefore, not substantiated.

The SCU explained to the public as per Supplies Control Regulations that they are mandated to regulate price-controlled goods such as flour, sugar, beans, grade C rice, 16oz loaf bread (sliced and unsliced), liquefied petroleum gas, fuel (diesel, premium, regular and kerosene), general sanitizers and cleaners.

In San Pedro, where goods carry a higher price compared to the mainland, no increases have been reported. When checking with one of the local bakeries, they discarded the possibility of an increase in their products. However, if flour prices do increase, the price of bread and pastries will be affected. One of the reasons suggested for the potential increase is due to the cost of wheat. The prices have reportedly increased from US$269 per ton to US$369. Another factor affecting the prices of goods globally is the increase in the cost of transportation and manufacturing materials.

Consumers across the country are advised to be vigilant during these times and report any issues in the marketplace. Reports on irregular pricing can be made to Consumer Protection Toll-Free line at 0-800-283-5587.

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