Bakers have warned of a price increase in bread within two months if they are not granted concessions over bakery ingredients.
The all Ceylon Bakery Owners Association, which represents the bakers, issued the ultimatum yesterday. President of the All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association, N K Jayawardena said that they will raise the price of a loaf of bread by Rs10 if they were not provided concessions on necessary ingredients and items used for baking.
Prices of flour-based products, excluding bread, will be raised by Rs 5 or more from midnight today, he added. Therefore buns, burgers, pastries, patties, rolls, samosa and cake will increase in price. Mr Jayawardena said that they were forced to increase the prices of pastry products due to the high cost of ingredients and the increased price of industrial gas cylinders. “Potatoes, onions and sardine used for curry pastes in many bakery products have increased in price due to the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee, while prices of eggs have also risen over Rs16,” he said.
He pointed out that they hadn’t raised the price of products even when gas prices were increased; bakeries run on industrialised gas ovens which use industrial size gas cylinders that cost more. “Even though domestic gas cylinder prices decreased, other category gas cylinder prices remain high,” he said. He explained that they were unable to run their business without incurring losses amid the rising costs.
He said that they were waiting for discussions with the government and a response on concessions.
“If our demands are met we will not increase the price of bread, but the Rs5 price increase on pastry products will take place,” he said.
Mr Jayawardena pointed out that the price of flour had not yet risen, but if that was to increase they would increase the prices of products further.
The newly appointed Chairman to the Consumer Affairs Authority, Anura Mandegoda was unavailable for comment.