Bread price goes up again  

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Sindiso Mhlophe

BAKERS have increased the price of bread by 36 percent for a standard loaf, citing increased production costs and challenges in the procurement of flour, the Daily News reports.

This comes as the Zimbabwe dollar continues to lose value on the black market, resulting in the prices of basic commodities, including bread, soaring beyond the reach of many long-suffering Zimbabweans, amid consistent calls for the redollarisation of the economy.
The latest price hikes will see Zimbabweans paying $61 for a standard loaf of bread up from $50 and $71 for a family loaf up from $65.
National Bakers Association (NBA) president Denis Wallah said the latest price hike had been necessitated by the need to meet operational costs.
“The cost drivers for the production of bread are increasing so this in turn results in the increase of bread price in order for us to continue producing and meeting the demand.
“You will find that the price of flour and other raw materials required to make bread have increased. So, it’s only normal for our members to then increase their prices in order to match the production costs,” Wallah said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers Association (CZRA) president Denford Mutashu said lack of foreign currency coupled with hyperinflation were the major factors driving price hikes in the country.
“We spoke with the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe and they have indicated that the price of flour has gone up. GMB recently indicated that it was no longer able to supply subsidised wheat to millers.
“As such the flour is now being imported predominantly in US dollars.
“As we know, the Zimbabwe dollar is fast losing value against the US dollar on the black market and as such bakers and retailers are forced to increase their prices in order to meet production costs and to be able to restock,” Mutashu said.
Recently, the government introduced a price moratorium which failed to stabilise prices, with Finance minister Mthuli Ncube describing it as a “gentleman or gentlewoman’s agreement done in good faith, with the hope that businesses would appreciate the difficult environment we are in where people have lost their incomes due to the coronavirus.”
“However, the prices are still going up as we have seen and I believe it’s time for us to dialogue once again with the business community and shake hands once again but this time with a firmer grip to curb the price increases,” Ncube added.

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