NFM: No increase in flour prices

A woman selects a Kiss specialty bread at Back to Basics Supermarket, Port of Spain. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
A woman selects a Kiss specialty bread at Back to Basics Supermarket, Port of Spain. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

National Flour Mills has not increased the prices of flour to any of its wholesale or retail customers. The statement comes as the Kiss Baking Company raised prices on some of its breads on Monday.

NFM CEO Ian Mitchell said while the state-owned company’s raw material costs have increased, it had not raised the prices for flour.

“As a manufacturer, I can tell you that all of our raw material input costs have gone up, so they are as a manufacturer, I suspect, they are suffering from the same costs as us. Some of the factors that affect us would affect other manufacturers, although I don’t know the extent to which it would affect them, because I don’t know what the full range of ingredients and the portfolio of raw materials are that Kiss would carry. I would have an idea, but I wouldn’t be able to speak intelligently on it, and I can’t say where they’re sourcing their materials from. What I can say is that any manufacturer who is importing goods would be impacted by the factors that have been affecting us since earlier this year.”

In May, NFM had assured customers that it would continue to maintain local prices of flour despite the spikes in the demand for wheat, rice, soybean meal and corn. It said projections indicated that global consumption of wheat would reach an all-time high because of the demand for food and seeds. The company also noted an increase in the demand for corn for animal feed and biofuels, and added that rising shipping charges had also contributed to higher prices.

“These factors have caused the cost of grain to rise sharply over the last four months. Prices for wheat, yellow corn and soybean meal have increased by 26, 60 and 45 per cent respectively this year.”

Kiss general manager Renee de Gannes said the price of imported ingredients has gone through the roof. He said only the products listed on Monday had had their prices increased.

“Generally speaking, we have had aggressive price increases on a number of ingredients, and therefore we were forced into raising prices. Kiss milk, wheat, hops, all butter bread, were not affected by this price increase. What we had to do was a selective price increase.

“Imported ingredients have gone through the roof basically. I’m not at liberty to say what the factors were that led to the selective increase, but I can say that because of aggressive price increases on the worldwide market, we are price-takers in terms of imported ingredients, and therefore we’ve had no choices to increase our prices on selected products.”

Linda’s Bakery also raised its prices in June. Owner Peter George said while the bakery’s prices continue to hold, as input costs continue to rise, a rise in price was inevitable.

Chee Mooke Bakery administrator Nathalie Phillips said the bakery has no plans to increase its prices at this time.

“We have seen a rise in the cost of ingredients, but we are not raising the prices. Others would be raising prices to pass along the cost of the ingredients, but we have been absorbing the cost for the time being. It’s not in our immediate plans to raise prices. At some point it’s going to happen but not at the current moment.”


"NFM: No increase in flour prices"

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