Consumers and the local business community have described the recent 10% increase in bread price by the Bakers Association of Zimbabwe as unjustified and have castigated the speculative tendency by players in the baking industry.
The adjustment of bread price by 10% on fears of shortage of wheat due to Russiaâ€™s one year ban on export of the commodity has been met with discontent by consumers who castigated the move as unwarranted and fueling speculative behavior on the market.
Concerns have also been raised over lack of proper impact assessment of the developments in Russia on the local market.
Local retailers who are currently selling in-store-baked bread at 50 cents per unit also condemned the speculative behaviour by the baking industry and called for a paradigm shift in business models to suite regional best practices.
â€œThe increase in bread price is likely to have a negative impact in the baking industry,â€ some retailers said.
Interestingly at one dollar, the local bread price is more expensive compared to the price of the same product in the region.
In South Africa where millers import the bulk of wheat, bread price range from 4 to 6 rand per unit while in countries such as Malawi the product is sold at less than 70 cents per unit.
The Bakers Association of Zimbabwe on Wednesday announced a review of the price of bread by 10%, citing high cost of wheat and shortages.
Observers however say prior to the anticipated wheat shortage due to developments in Russia the local bread was already overvalued at one dollar per unit.