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#510413 - 01/06/16 11:01 AM Sugar Price Increase
Marty Offline

Bakers and Confectioners Say No Problems With Sugar Price Increase

75 cents: effective January first, that's the price you are now paying for a pound of white sugar - up from 50 cents a pound, a 50% increase. Now of course, we have gotten some complaints from the consumers about this increase, but how about those pastry makers who have get to get all those sweet treats out to you: Will the increase affect their businesses? When we spoke to a couple today, they couldn't be the least bit bothered.

Courtney Weatherburne
"So it has increased by 25 cents. Now it's 75 cents per pound. In terms of economics, looking at it from the business perspective, will this increase affect you?"

Salvador Cambranes, Owner - Cambranes Bakery
"Well probably not. We absorb it. Because it's not very much, so we will probably take the loss. Well it wouldn't be a loss, but the operation cost. Just that the scarcity is an issue right now. But I guess when the price fixed, it will be back to normal. It's not very much readily available. So that's the thing. Apparently, they are storing it. Who knows? The more profit."

Courtney Weatherburne
"So the issue is with the scarcity, not really with the price increase?"

Salvador Cambranes, Owner - Cambranes Bakery
"That's right, the scarcity."

We also went to "Sugar Fix" off Freetown Road and the manager told us the price increase won't affect them either and he does not plan on raising his prices. He told us that he is more concerned about the regular folks who may not be able to afford it. Brown Sugar is still priced at 50 cents a pound.

Channel 7


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#510448 - 01/07/16 11:08 AM Re: Sugar Price Increase [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Casa Pan Dulce Baker Says New Price Does Not Go Down Like A Spoonful of Sugar

Last night you heard from two pastry makers in the city who say the 50% increase in the price of sugar won’t affect them at all. But today the owner of Casa Pan Dulce with branches in San Pedro, Santa Elena and Belmopan told us that’s not the case for him at all. Owner Andre Perez told us via telephone from San Pedro that with this increase he has no other choice but to raise his prices.

Andre Perez - Owner, Casa Pan Dulce Bakery

"Obviously it's not the same with me because of the amount of consumption I do. Especially white sugar is a key component in my bakery and I've been doing those figures since they announced the increase of white sugar and that definitely curves in knocks out on the operating cost for me for the year 2016 and I have the figures here to show you as proof. We're talking about an increase of 30 dollars and 30 cents to be more or less precise on the increase in the sack of white sugar. I am one of those bakeries that are consuming approximately something between 90 to 100 sacks monthly for consumption. If you do the math on that figure it is approximately 2,800 dollars more or less increase in my cost, the cost of goods. That's only for the month of January that I am telling you and if you would multiply that by 12 months, we're talking some big figures already and that might be some small figures to somebody but for me it's huge. We're talking in excess of over almost 33,000 dollars increase in cost for the year 2016 alone and that's a lot of money. There is one to make your product and not knowing what is your cost, I don't know what type of business you are into and myself being a baker, I have a bakery yes but I have to factor in my cost and everything. That's the first thing you should do when you do business, you need to figure out cost and any price increase you need to take into consideration, especially when you're talking about a product that has a dramatic increase of almost 50% increase of price, more than 50%."

Courtney Weatherburne

"Sir looking at those figures, how will you manage this increase now or this cost?"

Andre Perez - Owner, Casa Pan Dulce Bakery

"Let me tell you something, I'm voicing my concern because I have been discussing it any social circle that I speak and have been telling them how nobody is saying anything. I am just responding to what I saw on the news yesterday which was absolutely unjustified. You're saying the bakeries are quite happy with the increase we have now. I am saying for myself, I'm speaking for Casa Pandulce bakery that for sure this is a big blow for me right here. So you're asking me what do I do. We have to look at our options, this is something that we don't like doing but this is something we have to consider. We have no other choice but to pass that to the consumer."

Perez told us that he uses 90 sacks of sugar per month and now he will have to pay $30.34 more for one sack. At that rate - as you heard in the interview - it will cost Perez about $33,000 more every year to run his bakeries.

Channel 7


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#510573 - 01/12/16 10:53 AM Re: Sugar Price Increase [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Will Sugar Price Increase Translate to Increase Costs at Bakeries?

Of all the locally manufactured products in Belize, sugar has been at the centre stage more than the others. It is a commodity that is used in all households and just eleven days ago the cost of the sweetener was upped by twenty five cents. While there hasnít been much outcry from the public on the increase of the sugar price, businesses that do use the product may have to look at their bottom line and decide whether this increase in sugar will result in an increase of their goods. Casa Pan Dulce is a bakery with branches on Ambergris Caye, in Belmopan and in Santa Elena Town; the owner, Andre Perez told the media over the weekend that he and fellow bakers are looking at alternatives as price increases would be hard on consumers.

ANDRE PEREZ

ďAs I mentioned, sugar is a key component in the baking industry as much as flour and other things. The hardest thing is to go and just try to raise price on products because you have to take customers into consideration but we are looking at other options. If you look at it some of it I saw on Facebook and social media and in some of the grocery stores itís at .80 cents a pound already.Ē

Perez went on to note that he feels the increase was too much.

ANDRE PEREZ

ďTo increase 50% is ridiculous. I can expect an increase as well but not ot 50%. Youíre telling me then that a loaf of bread is going from $1.50 to $3.00, what are you gonna hear. Itís totally unjustified, uncalled for and itís abuse. What hurts me is that nobody is saying anything.Ē

As Perez mentioned, there are some areas that are selling sugar for more than the seventy five cents per pound as set by the Belize Bureau of Standards. One resident from Dangriga called in to The Morning Show today saying sugar was priced at eighty five cents per pound in one store while photos on Facebook has shown shelves of sugar at eighty cents per pound. In speaking with the Belize Bureau of Standards today we were told that the ceiling for a pound of sugar is seventy five cents across the board and that consumers are encouraged to report price gouging to the Consumer Protection Unit of the Belize Bureau of Standards.

LOVEFM


Casa Pan Costs!

And one other notable PUP we met at Saturday's National Party Council meeting - also has a big say in a major food industry. That's Andres Perez, the proprietor of Casa Pan Dulce, which operates bakeries in San Pedro, Belmopan and Santa Elena. Last week, he told us that the rising price of sugar well cost him thirty thousand dollars a year in increased costs - and he has to pass that unto consumers. Now, as we've reported, the increase in the price of sugar is to offset losses experienced by cane farmers because of lower international prices for sugar. Perez says he doesn't support it:..

Andres Perez - Casa Pan Dulce
"Let me tell you something to increase 50% is ludicrous, ridiculous. I can expect an increase, but not a 50%. It's totally unjustified, uncalled for and it's actually abuse. You basically call it outright abuse and what hurts me is that nobody's saying anything."

Perez says his shelf prices have increased, and he claims other pastry makers have done the same.

Channel 7


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