Rajiv Diptee, President of the Supermarket Association of T&T (SATT).

The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) says they have noted the increase in the price of flour by National Flour Mills and while they understand the circumstances leading to the increase they hope that all stakeholders “will try their utmost best to minimize the effects of these global forces on the local consumers.”

The following is a press release from SATT:

The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) takes note of a press release by National Flour Mills(NFM) dated 29th December 2021.

NFM like any other commercial entity has to operate within the confines of its operations being able to manage its inputs, overheads and so forth. The perfect storm alluded to in this is a conflagration of exigencies including supply chain disruption, adverse yields, loss of cycles of production, decreased access
to inputs and increased prices of raw materials for a variety of reasons which have been repeated ad nauseam by importers and suppliers within the wider supermarket industry.

At this yuletide period however, it is with great consternation in the interest of the consumer that such price adjustments must be made by the major supplier of flour to the nation especially when it has such implications for those whom flour represents an essential input of production. Consumers have faced periodical cycles within the nearly last two years of eroded savings, no upward adjustment of their earnings
and the erosion of the value of their dollar in the face of unmitigated inflation across all sectors.

Trends in the industry leading up to the Christmas period have revealed a 5-10% decrease in sales coupled with an average 25% increase in prices thus painting a picture of static consumption patterns. Downtrading is also revealing patterns of brand loyalty abandonment with customers seeking more avenues to stretch the
value of their dollar. In particular, it must be noted that seeming crowds at stores do not represent any significant increase in sales rather an appetite for a periodical deal.

The 19% price increase will be noted by all in the industry as an indication that corporation Sole cannot absorb the associated cost of operations impacted by the global pandemic by allowing market forces to dictate the price at which it remains available for consumers. This is the unfortunate yet harsh reality we are seeing at a time when as a national collective we should be seeking the interests of the most vulnerable that this will impact.

We trust that all such entities, as well as our friends at NFM ,who are faced with such challenges shall try their utmost best to minimize the effects of these global forces on the local consumers.