2021-06-10 - 09:35:45 COMMUNITY |
Lindo’s & Miles Supermarket Owners Explain Why Food Prices Are Rising In Bermuda
So far, the year 2021 has resulted in a sense of uncertainty across the globe. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the change in political leadership in the US and the ensuing economic policy changes, the Suez Canal blockage, the seismic shift to remote working and, more recently, the pipeline hacking are just a few of the things impacting all of us in ways never imagined.
Unfortunately, this impact will continue and cause ripples, much like a rock thrown in a lake. One of these ripples is that the price for food is increasing. This is due to a variety of increasing costs: for base materials used in manufacturing food, for manufacturing food packaging, labor shortages, transportation challenges, and currency fluctuations.
Together, they all compress the food market and contribute to an expected surge in prices, only expected to further increase over the coming months.
The Covid pandemic continues to hamper product and labor supply such as truck drivers and factory workers across the US; additionally, drought conditions are increasing feed prices for animal farms. With the demand for meat expected to stay strong, meat prices are the first in many price increases across the industry. Since the beginning of the year beef prices have risen by 40% and are forecast to rise another 15%. Similarly, pork prices are over 50% higher and expected to remain high through the summer.
Chicken prices have doubled but will hopefully begin to decline in mid-summer as the supply begins to increase. The USDA is predicting only moderate gains in production and in some cases, such as beef, a reduction in year-over-year production.
(https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/animal- products/cattle-beef/market-outlook/) From the basic concept of economics, if demand for a product stays high, the price will increase, a trend we have certainly seen over the past few weeks.
Throughout the pandemic, many people have shifted towards remote working and also shifted from the city life to a country location. This movement has put a resulting pressure on the lumber market as remote workers build residences in the country.
“Lumber prices have skyrocketed more than 300% since April 2020”. (https://www.nahb.org/news-and-economics/housing-economics/national- statistics/framing-lumber-prices) Wood used to build pallets for shipping goods are a byproduct of the lumber market, and pallet charges are being added to deliveries. In addition to lumber for pallets, the price of cardboard, also a wood-based product, has gone up over 10%.
US policy decisions have led to an increase in oil prices and shortage of workers, both of which affect our grocery prices in Bermuda. The price of plastic packaging has almost doubled in cost with the rise in oil prices. Also, logistical challenges related to a shortage of available drivers to move cargo has also meant the cost of moving both raw materials and finished product has gone up significantly. For the first time in recent memory, we are experiencing some minor delays as shipping companies are unable to procure truck drivers to meet our delivery times.
The increased costs of these factors among others regrettably translates to a steady increase in the cost of supplying Bermuda with all types of food products. Recent US news has reported on increasing inflation; inflation is hitting every community across the United States.
This trend is also being felt here at home. Sadly, Bermudian retailers and wholesalers have no control over both the inflation and increased costs. As much as we strive to keep the costs of food as low as possible, it is unavoidable that these increased costs will impact the retail trade in Bermuda. Looking to Europe for supplies will not help either as inflation in Europe and a strong British pound make shipping out of England more expensive.
Despite the grim outlook, we are still working to minimize costs as much as possible. Independently the industry continues to work with our distribution partners, both locally and abroad, to minimize the impacts of the increases we are experiencing. However, as outlined above, there are many factors that we really have no control over, and the public needs to understand the pricing pressures that are being experienced in the industry and what that means for each of us. It is our hope that the contributors to increased prices will be lessened over the next few months as the supply of both staffing and materials returns to normal levels.
In addition, as the food service industry reopens globally, the mix of products required will more closely resemble the traditional industry needs, and their supply will lead to decreased pressure on manufacturers, thereby bringing costs down.
We remain committed to ensuring that Bermuda will always have access to the freshest, most varied and reasonably priced items that we can.
Robust competition is the most and only successful means for lowering prices. This is attainable through a group of wholesalers and retailers committed to offering the best prices to attract the most customers. We have this in Bermuda, competition within the industry minimizes the retail price of food as much as possible considering the rising costs within the industry.
Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful, or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites, or repeats previous comments will be removed.
User comments posted on this website are solely the views and opinions of the comment writer and are not a representation of or reflection of the opinions of TNN or its staff.
TNN reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments.
TNN accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for the comments made by users.
Mrs. Muir’s Urges People To Buy Bermuda
Glenmore Russell has been running Mrs. Muir’s All Natural Juices and Punch for over 30 years. Her
Road Traffic Collision In Shelly Bay Area
“The Bermuda Police Service would like to advise the motoring public, that due to a collision on N
Water Safety Council Issue Advisory
As Bermuda approaches the holiday weekend, the Water Safety Council issued the following saftey remi
Differential Treatment based on Vaccination Status
While we understand the concern to protect our island and prevent the spread of covid-19 and potenti
Bermuda Record Another Covid Related Death
This evening, the Minister of Health, the Hon. Kim Wilson regrets to advise the public that sadly, B
Premier Burt Tested Positive For Low - Level Coronavirus Infection
I sadly begin tonight by again offering my deepest condolences to the families of the two individual
Bermuda College Vaccine Center Is Accepting Walk-Ins 50 Years And Older
The Bermuda College vaccination centre is today still continuing to accept walk-ins for those person
End Compulsory Worship in the Schools
The Education Committee of Social Justice Bermuda calls for an end to compulsory worship within the
Dunkley Talks about Bus and Minibus Dispute
The current dispute between bus and minibus operators and the government of Bermuda, former Premier
3 NEW POSITIVE CORONAVIRUS CASES RECORDED TODAY
There were 769 test results received by the Ministry of Health since the last update, and three were
Exceptional Turnout for Community Feeding
Nina Webb felt that, with everything that went on in 2020, Bermudians have drifted away from one ano
BELCO Successfully Tackles Island-Wide Power Outage
On Friday, December 18, Bermuda experienced its first island-wide power outage since 2005. This outa