Prices rising – Shop wisely

Consumers in this country are being encouraged to shop wisely and farmers to produce more. This advice comes from Director of Consumer Affairs and Internal Trade- Clarence Harry. Harry, speaking on March 28th on the Agency for Public Information, API online show ‘Marning’, Harry said that several man made and non-man made factors such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine and Russia war have exacerbated market prices. The Consumer Affairs and Internal Trade Director express the view that the various world crises were opportunities to further boost the local agriculture sector.  He said a food shortage worldwide should encourage farmers to produce more and consumers to eat local. He was also of the view that it was vital to find markets for the export of any excess. Harry noted that his Department promotes and provides consumer protection for both goods and services, and its Complaints Handling Unit is dedicated to addressing and investigating the grievances of consumers.  The Complaints and Handling Unit will be strengthened with the soon-to-be appointment of a tribunal, allowing for legal recourse and fairness as provided for by the Consumer Protection Act. Harry encouraged businesses as well as consumers to respect that there are controlled and non-controlled prices in the wholesale and retail markets.  There were just about 20 items under controlled pricing, such as LPG gas, rice, flour, fuel, lumber, fishing equipment, cement, imported meat and chicken, harry said. Highlighting some of the recent increases in commodity prices, Harry referenced flour which he said had an ex-factory price of $105.00 per 100lb bag, but had increased to $120.00.  The maximum wholesale price that was $115.50 is now at $131.80.  As for the retail market, he noted that in Area One (Kingstown to Arnos Vale and Kingstown to Campden Park) the price for flour had moved from $1.30 to $1.50 a pound. This 20 cents increase holds good for the other consumer areas, Villa to Georgetown and Campden Park to Walliabou; Georgetown to Fancy and Walliabou to Richmond; and the Grenadines. The retail price for Rice, according to Harry, had also gone up, from $1.67 to $1.70 a pound.  (Source: API SVG)