Bread Prices Still Not Reduced

05/01/2016 11:19

The Consumer Council of Fiji is expressing its concern that Hot Bread Kitchen has not adjusted price of bread, buns, cakes and pastries to reflect the VAT reduction which came into effect on 1 January 2016.

It is understood that the price of long loaf (400g), loaf - medium wrapped/sliced (600g) and wholemeal medium wrapped/sliced bread (600g) is determined by the Fiji Commerce Commission, therefore, these items require no VAT adjustment by individual trader since all price controlled items are VAT inclusive.

Besides these three products, consumers expect reduction in all types of bread, bun, pastries and biscuits around the country for two reasons: reduction of VAT by 6% and reduction in price of wheat product by an average of 5% across the board.  

Some consumers have raised their concern and shared their first-hand experience with the Council on bread pricing. For instance, The Hot Bread Kitchen has not adjusted the prices for cheese buns, and other types of pastries and bread. According to one consumer, she used to pay $1.40 for the whole wheat ‘pairs’ or twin top previously and even on 1 January 2016, the price remained the same.

The Council also found that the price of cream buns and vanilla swiss rolls have not changed. The evidences adduced against this company will be forwarded to FRCA for further action.

The Council expects to see reduction in pastries, biscuits, cakes, buns and bread prices by more than 6% with the latest announcement by the Fiji Commerce Commission on the reduction in wheat product prices from 1 January 2016. The prices for wheat products, namely normal flour, sharp and baker’s flour has decreased. The decrease in the price of wheat would now mean that the other products made from wheat should also reduce.

The new price of long loaf is 71cents; loaf medium sliced (600g) is sold for a dollar and wholemeal medium slice (600g) is $1.14 in cities and most urban areas. These prices may slightly vary according to different locations around the country.

We expect traders to pass on the benefits to the Fijian consumers on the non - price controlled items or face penalty of $50,000 and upon conviction to a fine of up to $100,000 or 5 year imprisonment.