Home » Smart Choice Bakery laments high cost of ingredients

Smart Choice Bakery laments high cost of ingredients

 By Ayomide Otitoju, Editor

The Manager, Smart Choice Bakery, Issac Adelakun, has lamented the high cost of purchasing baking ingredients in Nigeria.

Ispatus, made this call during an exclusive interview with TrustAfrica news at his bakery in Lagos, he called on the federal government to look into the increase in the prices of the essential material, describing it as a “near wipeout of the bread-making industry in Nigeria.”

According to him, after the covid 19 pandemic, the cost of ingredients for bread has tripled over the year which has affected sales and production thereby decreasing the number of customers they usually have.

“Our customers are complaining that our bread is very expensive because there’s no way we cannot increase the price of bread as things are very expensive now”, he added.

He disclosed that some bakeries now go to the extent of adding “unsafe” ingredients to bread to make it weighty

“There are side effects of what some bakery users use, some will write pomate free, it is a lie. Some are using Saccharin to make bread but we are making our bread with quality products, we don’t add something that can affect our customers in our recipe because we are also eating our bread. If you go to so many bakeries, some are not using butter for bread again, there’s butter flavors that they use now”.

Issac advised bakers to put the fear of God in their mind by using correct and safe ingredients for bread. He urged the government to help increase the standard of living in the country.

He said” The government should fight for us, if we say we want to strike, nothing will come out of it. Rather another problem will occur but we want peace in the state so I’m pleading with the government”.

Two bakers’ union, the Premium Bread Makers Association of Nigeria (PBAN) and the Association of Master Bakers & Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) have lamented the high cost of purchasing baking ingredients in Nigeria

A member of PBAN who doesn’t want his name in print while speaking to Trust Africa news, said that the bread-making industry has employed millions of Nigerians directly or indirectly, making it a key employer of labour in the country.

He noted that bread has become an important staple food in most Nigerian households, regardless of social standing and hindrance to its production could affect the country’s economy adversely.

“Although we have been experiencing difficulties for a while, the period between March 2020 and August 2020, the price of flour which is our major ingredient has increased from N10,500 per 50kg bag to N13,500 per bag. Sugar increased from N13,500 per bag, went as high as N29,000 and down to N19,000 per bag in the corresponding period.

“Margarine, from N5,800 is almost N11,000. A 25 litre can of Vegetable oil which was about N13,000 thousand now sells for N20,000 while Milk which was hitherto N29,000, now goes for N52,000. Preservative (Calcium Propionate) increased from N25,000 to N38,500, with the possibility of further price increases not ruled out,” he said.

“If this is not a viable program, we appeal to the government to scrap it and give the millers this 15% back so it can cascade to the entire flour industry and the Nigerian citizens alike,” he said.

Mr Gbenga Adisa said, “bread is a staple food that should not even be expensive but in the situation we are heading to, we will start seeing a rise in the cost of bread. As you are aware, bread is the food for the masses and it shouldn’t be expensive.

“From now on, there is going to be a change in the price of our bread. Let me now tell you that the additional cost will not even cover our expenses, we just want to survive.”

Mr Adisa noted that the increase in the cost of raw materials has not reduced the quality of their products, as they still strive to deliver the best to the consumers of bread in Nigeria.

“To be honest with you, because we want to survive the time, you may find some bakeries trying to work around the weight. I can guarantee you, for us Smart Choice Bakery, our quality remains the same,” he said.

Smart Choice Bread

He said, “Most of us got loans with double-digit interest rates from banks and other financial institutions to fund our bakery projects and are finding it extremely difficult to meet our loan repayment obligations. Both Associations shall henceforth be responding correspondingly to any indiscriminate price increases by millers, sugar refiners, and ingredient manufacturers and suppliers with the same measure in the prices of bread.”

He also strongly opposed the decision of the flour millers, sugar refiners, and baking ingredient manufacturers to increase the prices of their products without due consultations with the stakeholders in the baking industry.

“We expect that at the very least, they would give us enough time to plan and get psychologically prepared to absorb the shocks that come with price increases. While we clearly understand their predicament, and their strong desire to remain profitable, it would be worthy of note to mention that they would be out of business if all the bakeries adopt their approach to profitability as the demand for flour-based products would drop significantly once the price exceeds a certain threshold.

He further disclosed that there has been a 15% in place for the national wheat development program as well as a 5% tariff on wheat imports, yet there has been no significant benefit in the wheat supply chain.
He called on the federal government to look into ensuring the development program functions well or consider scrapping it totally.


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