TRADE Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said she knows nothing about a general increase in prices.
She was speaking at a media conference on Tuesday at the ministry, Nicholas Towers, Port of Spain.
Her comment was in response to a Supermarket Association release about a pending increase in prices.
Gopee-Scoon said the release spoke broadly about a rise in food prices but what was specifically cited was Angostura, which was not an item in the food basket, and National Flour Mills (NFM), which she was very concerned about. She recalled that she spoke with NFM officials and was told the price increases applied to pet food, soyabean oil and some other products.
"But it is absolutely not in the basic food item of flour."
She said she also spoke with Nutrimix (also cited in the release) and officials there also confirmed there would be no increase in the price of flour.
"So what we are concerned about in particular are those basic items in the food basket."
Gopee-Scoon said the Consumer Affairs Division looks at a basic basket of food items and this has been the measure for a number of years.
"So I know nothing about a general increase in all supermarket items. I don't know where that came from. And my advice to the Supermarket Association was to look at their processes, look at their efficiencies and to make sure that they always think about the consumer in ensuring that their prices are affordable."
She said choice is always available, and the ministry, through the Consumer Affairs Division, will continue to publish prices monthly on social media.
She noted that for pasta and other products there was a range available both locally, regionally and extra-regionally.
"Choice is there. And I really do encourage all of us, as consumers, to be sensible about how we spend our money and ensure that we always get value for money in everything that we do."
She encouraged people to shop around to get the best price and to use things for a longer period.