Caribbean bakeries face rising flour costs as global wheat prices escalate
02 May, 2008
Bakery businesses across the Caribbean are braced for further price rises after Barbados and Jamaica became the latest nations to see the cost of flour rise by at least 30%.
In Barbados the government had given a (BBD)$501,000 (£125,000) emergency subsidy to ease the impact of increases in world wheat prices on consumers. But that arrangement came to an end on March 31.Principal supplier ADM Bar-bados Mills decided to increase the price of flour by 30% from April 14. This followed similar recent rises in Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada and Belize.Commercial manager of the mill Cecil Hypolite told the Barbados Nation newspaper: "Based on what our principles are telling us, the price of wheat will continue to rise. We're not seeing any let-up with the price rises right now."Cheryl Reid, who runs Cherie's Bakery and Deli, told the paper that, before the price increase, she recalled buyimg a 45kg bag of flour for around $40 (£10). "Now I'm paying about $71 (£18) for the same bag," she added. Meanwhile, Jamaican bakers expressed fears that their sales could soon decline following a 32% rise in the cost of baking flour over five days.Jamaica Flour Mills raised the cost of flour by 29% in early April and then added an additional 3% to take account of rising world prices.