Supermarkets respond to Trade Minister’s “reckless” food prices comment

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Supermarkets respond to Trade Minister’s “reckless” food prices comment

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon has told Power 102 Digital that she is displeased with comments by supermarket owners that grocery prices may not see a dip until the end of this year.

Speaking on the Power Breakfast Show, she described the statement as rash and reckless.

Minister Gopee-Scoon said local grocery prices do not reflect the changes in price being reported by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Trade Minister noted that supermarkets made significant profits called on them to implement and retain pricing specials on basic essential foodstuffs.

Mrs Gopee-Scoon said discussions will be had with the supermarkets but emphasized that consumers still have the edge in forcing supermarkets to drop their prices by determining demand.

In response, Supermarkets Association President, Rajiv Diptee denied greed on the part of supermarket owners.

Speaking shortly after Mrs Gopee-Scoon comments, he said while shipping freight prices are down, North American suppliers are still facing inflation and this is being passed on to the local market.

The Supermarket Association head added that the issue of parts for food manufacturers is also a problem as China which supplies many of the world’s machinery parts was closed for some time due to its zero COVID policy.

He noted that this is affecting the ability of food manufacturers to meet demand.

Diptee added that supermarkets can only absorb so much before the price must be passed on.

However he believes that price reductions may comwe about but not within the next 3-6 months.