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Flour, bread groups vow to keep prices stable

Bakers cut and arrange dough balls on metal trays before baking. —MARIEJO RAMOS

Prices of bread and flour will likely remain stable even with the coming Christmas season and supply problems that may lead to an increase in market prices.

This after the Department of Trade and Industry met separately on Oct. 11 with flour and bread associations, which at the end of the discussions committed to hold on to prevailing prices.

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In a statement on Friday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Pinoy Tasty would remain at P35 per 450-gram loaf; Pinoy Pandesal at P21.50 per 250-gram pack, and Harinang Pinoy at P670-P680 per bag.

“Our mandate is to make sure that manufactured products are kept at reasonable prices. We assure the public that they will always have affordable options for staple items like bread and flour,” Lopez said.

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The assurance comes despite concerns that the main ingredients to make bread— wheat and sugar—have been constrained by supply issues, which may push prices of bread higher.

In the case of DTI initiatives Pinoy Tasty, Pinoy Pandesal, and Harinang Pinoy, prices have been declining since nearly a decade ago.

In October 2011, Pinoy Tasty was at P38.50 and Pinoy Pandesal was P25.

Meanwhile, Harinang Pinoy started in 2012 at an original price of P750 per bag, DTI said.

Pinoy Tasty, Pinoy Pandesal and Harinang Pinoy are DTI initiatives to provide affordable options for Filipinos. Harinang Pinoy is a project with the Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pamfil).

DTI said Philippine Baking Industry Group (PhilBaking) members—including Gardenia, French Baker, Uncle George, Tiffany and Marby—produce the generic bread to sell it at the same price.

Philippine Association of Flour Millers (Pamfil) said there are now 21 flour millers in the country.

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According to DTI, Pamfil said competition was keeping their prices low and that they are committed to keep the price of Harinang Pinoy at P670-P680 per bag.

Likewise, PhilBaking guaranteed that they will keep the prices of Pinoy Tasty at P35, where it has been for the past three years.
Because of these cheaper options, bread companies choose not to drastically increase the prices of their brands to maintain their market share, DTI said.

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