Natasha Chamba, Business Reporter
THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has said its members have not increased the price of flour to bakeries and as such the recent bread price increase cannot be attributed to flour price.
Bread remains in short supply in the market and last week bakeries after negotiations with Government, resolved to increase the price for a loaf from $1,10 to $1,40. Government intervened after some bakeries had announced that they had increased the price to $2,20 a loaf.
GMAZ chairman Mr Tafadzwa Musarara yesterday said delays in transporting wheat from Beira contributed to the shortages of bread on the market as bakeries did not have enough flour.
He said the problem was compounded by the fact that out of the eight GMAZ suppliers of wheat, the association was left with one supplier who demands cash up front. This, however, has not changed millers’ flour prices.
“We used to have eight suppliers of wheat but now we only have one who wants cash up front. We owe all the eight money dating back to 2015-2016 but even with this crisis, we have not increased flour prices to bakeries,” said Mr Musarara.
He said the recent bread price increase can therefore not be blamed on the price of flour.
The National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe has said the industry has been adversely affected by the recent wave of price increases, particularly on key raw materials used in bread making.
The association said prices of imported products such as enzymes, baking fats, improvers, gluten, calcium, kwiklocks and premix had increased sharply.
The spare parts for factories and distribution vehicles have also gone up forcing bakeries to increase the price of bread.
Meanwhile, Mr Musarara has assured the nation of adequate supply of flour during the festive season.
He said an additional fleet of 400 trucks will be dispatched to move the wheat from Beira.
“We had suspended supply to biscuits companies and I am happy to say that by end of next week we will be able to supply everyone but will however continue to prioritise bread bakers,” he said.