The Ashanti Flour Users Association says recent spiralling prices have pushed their cost of production high, compelling some of its members to shut down their businesses.
The bread bakers say, although they have been compelled to increase their prices in recent times, they are still making losses, hence the resultant closure of businesses by some of their members.
Comfort Akotua is the President of the Ashanti Flour Users Association.
She has been in the bread baking business for the past 35 years. She however says, as the result of the high cost of production in recent weeks, she has since February 2022 stopped operating.
She pours out her frustrations to Citi News.
“Many bread bakers have stopped operating. For instance, many of those around Anloga Junction are no more in operation. This is because we have been incurring losses. The saddest aspect of it is that, the retailers who engage in street hawking keep complaining that it is expensive. We are always praying for the situation to improve. Although I am quite old, I can still work, but I am unable to work because I have been making losses. How do I take care of my needs and other utility bills if I am not working?”
Mavis Kwegyir Stiles, the Chief Executive Officer of Okyeso Nyame Bakery at Bantama, laments that the high cost of flour and other ingredients have negatively affected her business.
“The high cost of flour has affected production. Last year, we used to buy 100 bags of flour for 16,000 but now it costs us 34,000 to get that. The cost of sugar is also up. One bag of sugar sells at GH¢400 whereas it used to sell at GH¢280 last year. Prices of all other ingredients have gone up. We now sell bread for GH¢5 and the retailers sell at GH¢6 Ghana cedis. The consumers are however complaining that it is expensive and that we should reduce it. We can’t reduce it because the production cost has gone up”.
The members of the Ashanti Flour Users Association say they will be forced to once again increase the price of bread, next week due to the high cost of flour and other ingredients.
“We have now increased the price of bread. The ones that used to sell at GH¢2, have been increased to GH¢3. By next week, we will increase it again to GH¢4. We will also get some that would be sold at GH¢6. We may further increase the prices. For now, we will always increase it anytime the cost of flour and other ingredients go up,” president of the Ashanti Flour Users Association, Comfort Akotua disclosed to Citi News.
Some bread retailers also say sales have reduced drastically as a result of the recent increase in the price of bread.
“The consumers hardly buy from us lately. They always say the prices are expensive. They even accuse us of inflating the prices. We only make GH¢1 from it,” a bread retailer, Jennifer Atebawini lamented.
“The consumers at times call us but after asking of the price, they refuse to buy from us. After buying it here for GH¢5, I buy polythene as well, so I won’t make any profit if I sell it GH¢5,” another bread seller, Rose Boatemaa added.
The bread bakers are thus calling on the government to intervene in ensuring that prices of flour, sugar and other ingredients are stabilised.
“The authorities should intervene to ensure that the prices of ingredients are reduced. The prices have gone up astronomically,” CEO of Okyeso Nyame Bakery, Mavis Kwegyir Stiles, appealed.
“If there is anything government can do, we want them to come up with an intervention to relieve us,” Comfort Akotua urged.