EDO BREAD PRODUCERS SHUT OPERATION OVER HIKE IN PRICES OF INGREDIENTS.
BY INNOCENT OKOH.
OCTOBER 26, 2021.
Bakery owners in Edo have gone on strike over what they describe as incessant increase in the price of items used in baking bread.
The association went on the indefinite strike last Saturday to decry the price of ingredients used in baking bread consumed by the poor and the rich in the state.
They had gone on strike some months ago, thereby resulting to the hike in the prices of bread in the state, the retail price of small size loaf of bread jerked from N100 to N150, the medium size loaf of bread previously sold then for N300 was increased to N350 while the one sold for N400/N450 was jerk to N500 and the big loaf earlier sold for N600 was increased to N700.
Some of the operators who wouldn’t want their name mentioned on papers lamented over the high price of the ingredients ranging from flour, sugar, yeast, butter and others which they say have increased drastically and as a result the cost of operating a bakery is so tremendous and unbearable, adding that this has made many to close down operation.
According to one of the bakery operator in Benin city, identified as Mrs. Emmanuel, “The price of bag of flour now is N24,000, sugar is N22,000, butter now is N18,500 while yeast is now N18,000 per bag, even the price of nylon used in packaging the loaves of bread has increase by 50 percent.
So the high price has made so many bakeries in the state to fold up while some have rented their facility out to businessmen who can afford the high cost of operation”.
“Even us now, we haven’t paid our workers because the cost of operation is affecting us badly but the workers understand because the know the situation in the market. The way prices of ingredients are increasing is alarming and only God, knows why, even the baking pan, was formally N250 for one but its now N600. Profit is not moving as we used to experience because the prices of ingredient are increasing everyday, the price you used in buying a particular item yesterday is not the same today, and the price of the things you bought today, will increase tomorrow”.
Reacting to the response of consumers and sales, she added, “customers still buy from us because they don’t have choice, its how much we buy ingredients that will determine the price of selling the bread but sales have drop to some extent. She said.
Meanwhile, the retail prices of bread have increased, the medium size that use to sell at the rate of N350 is now N400 while the big size bread that use to sell for N700 is now N800.In last September, the association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, threatened to go on a nationwide strike to protest the incessant increase in the price of flour and other baking ingredients, the association gave two weeks ultimatum starting from September 23, in order for the federal government to address the situation, as they say the incessant increase of baking ingredient is killing the industry as they fear it may soon drive bakers into extinction.