JIS News

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has informed that based on the January 8 and 9 survey of food prices in the Corporate Area and Manchester, there has been a seven per cent reduction in prices compared to December, 2008.
“What we did is we took the best of these prices and compared them with the weighted average price that is used every time that we do a survey. The last survey was done January 8 to 9 and when compared against the December 18 and 19 prices we find some very interesting differences. We find that the average reduction in prices is seven percent if you take the best prices that are offered in the various retail outlets,” Mr. Samuda said.
He also informed that in some instances there were various specials on certain products at the supermarkets surveyed, but those specials were noted in the report that was published in today’s (Jan. 15) newspaper.
Mr. Samuda was speaking at a press briefing held at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices today.
“Family Pride in Havendale is having a special on Best Dress Chicken and that is being sold at $269.90 but in contrast you have Parkview in Papine that is selling the same product for $315.50. Now that is nearly $100 difference and we must understand that and the consumers of the country must understand that,” Mr. Samuda said.
Twenty nine items were surveyed in the January eight to nine survey done by the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC).
“The best store in this survey is Shoppers Fair Duhaney Park, where of the 29 items surveyed, 13 items in their store was the lowest prices in the Corporate Area. In Manchester the best stores are Mandeville Cash and Carry and Urville, both of them had seven items that came out as the best prices,” Mr Samuda stated.
He also informed that “the worst in the Corporate Area was Super Plus in Stony Hill were they had seven of the 29 that were the highest and JR’s and Super Plus in Christiana were the worse.”
In addition the Commerce Minister stated that there are plans to have a monthly survey of grocery items done and published in the local newspapers along with television presentations during prime time. He also informed that there are plans to include other areas of the country in future surveys.
“This will be published every two weeks and we will be in a position then to get the feedback. Any feedback that the consumers of the country may have as to recommendations, as to information concerning the market that they would like published we will be only too happy to respond to that,” Mr. Samuda said.
Meanwhile he said the use of a survey is in keeping with the strategy to inform the public of the different prices across the country, and by so doing be in a position to alert the consumers as to what exists throughout the island and what are the best prices that can be available.
“Sometimes you may find a variation where a price is way out and far more expensive; other factors come into play such as the peculiarity of the location. On the other hand it may just be a case of a particular outlet being able to sell their products at prices that far exceed any other outlet in the country. Some of these differences are so large that quite frankly they are worthy of note,” Mr. Samuda said.