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Consumers told to reject hikes in food prices (with CNC3 video)
President of the Supermarkets Association Vernon Persad says there has been a notable increase in several food items and it is in the hands of consumers to reject price increases. Persad and other members of the association yesterday met with Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar to discuss the issue of the rise in food prices at the ministry on South Quay, Port-of-Spain.
“The Supermarkets Association stands committed to lower food prices and we have been getting memos from our distributors and suppliers about the rise,” he said. Persad said there were hundreds of food items which prices had been increased over the past few months but the association’s mandate was to stop the price-gouging.
He added: “We have taken a position that we will not accept any price increases from the distributors. We want our customers to enjoy the benefit of that. “Stores can refuse delivery to show the level of commitment and consumers can stop buying the products. We have all decided to make this stand together in favour of this movement.”
Persad said consumers could choose another product with a lower price. He added: “There has been an evaluation of prices and there is a lot of importation of food. There are a lot of prices going up and consumers want the prices reduced. We stand committed to reduce the prices from moving upwards.”
Persad said there were a lot of contributing factors to the increase, such as the international market, local factors, cost overruns, rentals, freight charges and additional costs which was passed on to consumers. He said VAT would be taken off over 7,000 items at the supermarkets from November 15.
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