FILE PHOTO: Linda’s Bakery, Park Street, Port of Spain. –
ONE bread and pastry franchise continues to maintain the price on its items amid the rising cost of food and other commodities.
Owner of Linda’s Bakery Peter George said its management, after almost six weeks of talks, was able to devise a plan to maintain prices and quality.
He said from the time flour prices increased, management had to find ways to “raise hell to keep prices down.”
“What emerged was a novel collaborative arrangement with stakeholders, from senior management, directors, landlords, vendors and suppliers working together to simply do whatever was necessary to maintain bread prices in the public interest.
“It was not easy, requiring the collaboration and commitment of so many stakeholders. Each, in turn, made a financial sacrifice so that the consumers would not have to be further burdened by an increase in the price of such a staple as bread.”
George said it was done voluntarily via salary contributions, a rent cut, or a cost reduction throughout the Linda’s chain.
“While it will still mean that Linda’s, as a bread manufacturer, would take a lessened but significant hit each month to their bottom line, we agreed that bread is a staple that the average household must have and to take bread from the mouths of a population still reeling from the effects of the pandemic would be something we just couldn’t live with at this point.
George said the bakery employed 523 employees who were proud of their contributions in ensuring no one was put “below the breadline.”
“We were overwhelmed by the way everyone had no hesitation in chipping in to help. It goes to demonstrate that there is a fund of goodwill upon which we can all draw when we work together for the greater good.”
In December, state-owned company National Flour Mills (NFM) raised flour price between 15 per cent and 22 per cent, with a suggested increase averaging 19 per cent on the retail prices.
Nutrimix, the county’s second largest supplier also increased prices up to 20 per cent on its products.
Soon after Kiss Baking Co, in January followed suit and raised prices on some of its products ranging from $1-$1.25.
The Ukraine-Russia war has influenced the global wheat prices, in which both countries account for roughly 30 per cent of the global wheat export market.
Given this development, NFM said it may be forced to increase the prices of flour again.
George said via a WhatsApp voice note that if this was the case then their pricing structure would have to be revisited.