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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has announced that based on the positive meetings that he has been having with distributors and retailers, Jamaicans could see a reduction in the prices of some basic food items.
“I am satisfied that those meetings were held in a spirit of co-operation and understanding of the challenges we face, and in that regard, what we are going to do is establish a list of items that affect the poorest of our land.these are the basic food items and we are going to seek to arrive at a consensus. The signs are very positive, whereby special efforts will be made to effect reductions in those items.but it will take co-operation and understanding,” he cautioned.
The basic food items being discussed with the retailers and distributors are cornmeal, dark sugar, hard dough bread, powdered milk, rice, counter flour, cooking oil, chicken, tin mackerel and sardines.
Mr. Samuda was speaking at a press briefing, on December 11, at the Ministry’s head office, in Kingston.
The Minister said that while he is not happy with the current pricing situation, he is encouraging consumers to cope, as best as possible, until reductions are realised.
“We are not happy about it in the Ministry, as I am sure all Jamaica is not happy about the situation, but it is one that we have to cope with. It’s one that confronts us and we have to deal with it in the best way possible, in the interest of the Jamaican people,” he noted.
In the meantime, the Minister pointed out that in this current situation, everyone has a role to play, including the consumers, who must search for the best available prices.
“All of us have to play a part. Distributors, retailers and the consumers must go in search of the best prices. We will give them all the information that is possible, by way of publications, advice and we will continue to work with the retailers to continue to identify those items where we can get some reduction,” he said.