NEWS

Tell Us: FCCC

Public urged to report unwarranted price increases after claims by consumers of price hikes that are supposed to come into effect only from Friday May 13
11 May 2022 11:07
Tell Us: FCCC
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) chief executive officerJoel Abraham.

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) is conducting spot checks at supermarkets and smaller shops to ensure consumers are not over-charged for price-controlled wheat products.

The random investigations started after a few consumers claimed they had been charged prices that are in fact supposed to be charged from this coming Friday.

“I must remind traders that any attempt to make a quick buck from unethical practices will be met with fines and penalties,” commission chief executive officer Joel Abraham said.

“Traders are to only begin charging new prices from this Friday and not earlier than that.

“Our biggest priority is to protect Fijian consumers from being misled or cheated, especially now.

“Monitoring teams from FCCC are out and about actively monitoring for price increases by unscrupulous traders trying to unfairly benefit from the current situation.”

Mr Abraham said Fijians had the right to correct information and the right to be charged fair prices and that anyone who sought to mislead everyday Fijian by engaging in unethical practices would be dealt with under the full extent of the law.

“It is extremely heinous to take advantage of vulnerable Fijians during this time, and we warn any unscrupulous traders that if they are caught overcharging, FCCC will take them to task under the FCCC Act 2010,” he said.

Members of the public are urged to report instances of unwarranted price increases to FCCC with photographs and other evidence directly through the FCCC web app at https://fccc.app/.

You can also contact FCCC on 892 1991 or through live chat at https://fccc.gov.fj/.

Why the increase:

Flour

The commission had received submissions from flour manufacturers citing steep increases in global wheat prices.

Ukraine and Russia are known as ‘the breadbasket’ of Europe, producing 30 per cent of the world’s wheat, while 75 per cent of the essential oils used in cooking and preparing food are also produced there.

Together, Russia and Ukraine export 20 per cent of the world’s corn, mineral fertiliser, and natural gas — components used in the production and cultivation of grains and seeds.

So, any conflicts arising at the source would have a direct impact on Fiji and the rest of the world.

Indicative analysis of the international wheat price movement shows consistent increases since the third quarter 2021.

For ease of reference, the Australian Hard Wheat prices increased from $326.68 in the 2019 price review to $422.54 in the current review.

The commission undertook a thorough review of the cost components and approved an increase of 8-9 per cent depending on the individual flour products.

For example, Normal Flour 10kg pack factory wholesale price increases from $14.57 to $16.30. This would result in retail price changes from $15.68 to $16.95.

 

Bread and biscuits

Following a review of flour prices and submissions by the manufacturers, the commission approved the following changes in the prices of bread and biscuit:

  1. Breakfast Crackers-FMF Brand 375g pkt price increases from $1.70 from $2.00.
  2. Breakfast Crackers-FMF Brand 5kg plastic bucket price increases from $28.41 to $32.14.
  3. Breakfast Crackers-FMF Brand 2kg plastic bucket price increases from $12.36 to $13.89
  4. Long loaf price increases from $0.71 to $0.94.
  5. Medium white (600 grams sliced) from $1 to $1.54.
  6. Medium wholemeal (600 grams sliced) from $1.14 to $1.63.

The review considered the input cost changes and price changes are a direct result of increased flour prices and the fact that bread prices were last reviewed for cost changes in 2011, and the changes in input cost prices over this decade – but more so in recent years – have finally taken their toll.

These prices are effective from Friday, May 13, 2022.

 



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