For these reasons, there is shortage of bread, and the rest of the items are available in abundance...

For these reasons, there is shortage of bread, and the rest of the items are available in abundance...

| Wednesday 22 June 2022

Rania Chakhtoura, “Akhbar al-Yawm” agency

Some bakeries have turned into supermarkets and their owners into merchants who consider bread unprofitable

Janet N. tell her story in search of the "bread bundle", she says: since yesterday evening, I have been looking for bread, without finding it in any bakery or supermarket, after my mission failed, I decided to postpone it until this morning, where I started looking for bread since six in the morning. I went to one of the large and famous bakeries, and the answer was "it is still early, before nine o'clock, there is no bread", but it is noteworthy that all the varieties of croissants, cakes, Manakish, French bread, baguette, "Pain de Mie", and "pain au lait"... are available in addition to various types of delicious desserts.

She added: "I went to another bakery, the bread is also not available, but the rest of the items are on the shelves. So I turned to the third, it seems that Arabic bread is available, but the queue was too long. I turned back, into the first bakery to buy any kind of "foreign bread", but the shock was that every piece of "French bread" was at the 4500 LBP".

Why is flour available for everything without being available for Arabic bread, that is, for the daily sustenance of a people who no longer finds anything to eat except bread?

Informed circles in the sector explained that all types of flour come from the same grain of wheat, and there is a Category used in the manufacture of Arabic bread called the technical "unified flour 85", that is, without any addition, and this category is the only one that is still subsidized by the Bank of Lebanon, through the latest decision of the Ministry of economy.

The circles reveal, via "Akhbar al-Yawm" agency, that some bakeries that have extensive experience in the manufacture of bread, its derivatives and sweets, buy subsidized flour and add some items and substances on it, which entitles them to produce other items, the price of which is not specified by the ministry, meaning that each bakery puts the price of these items as desired, especially since some bakeries have turned into a supermarket, and their owners into merchants, and they consider that Arabic bread is unprofitable, although the profit rate ranges from 10 to 15% in each bread bundle, and therefore the profit becomes large, in addition, the Ministry of economy issues the pricing of the bread bundle periodically to keep pace with the rising prices of materials.

But on the other hand, there are bakeries that do not add any substances to flour, and have reduced the manufacture of some other products in exchange for maintaining the daily production of bread from subsidized flour, and buy non-subsidized flour for the manufacture of sweets and French bread.

In response to a question, the circles draw attention to the fact that the price of French bread is very high in some bakeries, but the ministry cannot set prices for all items made by bakeries that work to compensate for what it considers insufficient profits in bread from other products, even the price of brown bread cannot be set because each bakery uses different ingredients from the other.

The circles also conclude that there is a responsibility on some mills that deliberately smuggle wheat.


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