Staple food products’ prices such as those of bread, butter and other dairy products increased sharply as local producers attempt to cover costs due to the global shortage of raw materials and freight expenses due to COVID.
Both Malta Dairy Products, the company which produces Benna dairy products, and bakery Golden Harvest said they had to increase prices to cover January costs.
The recent increase in prices was noted in a Facebook post by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi who said that anyone buying essential food items would have noticed ‘large increases in wheat and dairy products.’
He went on to list increases ranging from 10c to 83c in flavoured milk ranges, fresh cream, yoghurt and butter. Malta Dairy Products Limited said that the company had managed to keep prices of fresh milk products stable over recent months. During this, the costs of feeds on the international markets as well as other operational, logistical and raw material costs, significantly increased.
Saying that as of the 1st January 2022 some prices of its products were adjusted, MDP revealed that this decision has been taken after the company absorbed the increase in costs for a number of months. The company said that the price adjustment was also necessary to sustain the local dairy industry.
A spokesperson for Golden Harvest said that similarly, just like other local bakeries had raised their prices at the end of last year, the company was forced to do so as well. A spokesperson told Times of Malta that ‘we have been trying to absorb the costs and delayed increasing prices at the end of the year not to burden consumers.’
‘But we had to cover our costs. I assure you that the price increase does not reflect the increase in prices of raw materials which we have been experiencing due to the pandemic. We are in no way making more profit, we are just covering some of the costs.’
The materials included flour, yeast, sugar and packaging, with prices having shot up across the board. Suppliers explained this was a global situation brought about by a wide array of factors impacting the supply chain.