Government officials will this week meet bakers in a move aimed at reducing the price of bread.
The country’s major bakers recently “colluded” to raise the price of bread from $1.80 per standard loaf to $3.50, making the breakfast staple unaffordable to the generality of citizens.
In an interview with state media on Friday last week, Deputy Minister of Land, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Vangelis Haritatos said:
As Government, we believe in engagement and so in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, we intend to meet the representatives of the National Association Bakers of Zimbabwe and their members so that we address this problem for the mutual benefit of both the bakers and consumers.
Hopefully, we will come to an agreement to reduce the price of bread so that we have on the market a price that’s affordable to the public and at the same time allowing the bakers to make a profit.
We feel that the bread price increase was unjustified. We did announce new producer prices but remember we are giving 38,5 per cent discount to our millers and as such the price of bread should be between RTGS$2 and RTGS$2,50 and not RTGS$3 and RTGS$3,50.
Meanwhile, a consumer rights watchdog called for an investigation into the country’s major bakers, namely Lobel’s, Bakers Inn and Proton who are accused of forming a bread cartel together with major supermarket chains.