Bread markup causes dispute in Istanbul

23 July 20204 min reading

Pointing out to the increased costs of inputs, bakers demanded an increase in bread prices in Istanbul. Erdoğan Çetin, President of the Chamber of Bakers of Istanbul, asked for the price of 200-gram loaf to be increased from 1 lira 25 kurus to 1 lira 75 kurus.

The debate on bread markup became the main topic of agenda again. "We demand the price of 200-gram loaf, which is sold for 1 lira 25 kurus in Istanbul to be increased to 1 lira 75 kurus, because of the increasing costs," Erdoğan Çetin, President of the Chamber of Bakers of Istanbul, said. Çetin said that the prices for bread were last raised in May 2019, and the previous hike was in 2015.

[caption id="attachment_3627" align="alignleft" width="112"] Halil BALCI[/caption]

Stating that wheat price increased up to 1.65 lira from 1,35 lira, Çetin said, "Since 2019, 200-gram loaf is being sold against 1.25 lira in Istanbul,” and added: “After this statement, flour prices rose about 20 percent. In addition, the inputs in our bakeries also increased continuously. Also, there is a lot of rain in the Thrace region recently. Therefore, wheat quality is expected to decrease. For this reason, flour producers have informed us that flour prices will increase by 15 percent within one month. In other words, since the hike in May 2019, all our expenses have increased by 60 percent. Our bakers are in a very difficult situation right now. Due to the increasing costs, we demand the price of 200-gram bread sold at 1.25 lira in Istanbul to be 1.75 lira. We demand the authorities to fulfill this request. In the last 5 years, only one tariff was taken for bread. When we add up the inflation rates through these years, it will be seen that the demanded price is below the total inflation figures.”

"IT IS FLIPPANT TO DEMAND 40%" Turkey Bakers' Federation President Halil İbrahim Balcı opposed the demand coming from Chamber of Bakers of Istanbul. Balcı said, “It is flippant to demand a 40-percent hike. It is an unlikely demand. It is not a demand on the agenda of our federation.” “The demand for a 40 percent hike in bread or the announcing to do so does

[caption id="attachment_3623" align="alignright" width="107"] Erdoğan ÇETİN[/caption]

not reflect the reality. It has never ever been a matter of discussion for us, as Bakers' Federation of Turkey or Chamber of Bakers, to implement a price increase higher than the national inflation since 2002. Therefore, 40 percent demand is a demand far from being serious. It is an unlikely demand. It is not a demand on the agenda of our federation. In the meeting held by all the boards of our federation about 15 days ago, both the increase in flour prices, the increase in yeast prices and the works to be done related to this were discussed, we are planning to complete the year without exceeding 7.5 liras, the maximum kilogram price that has been applied for 8 months, and 7.75 liras. There is no situation for the citizens to worry about the price of bread,” Balcı added.

“OUR FEDERATION IS ACTING AGAINST US” Erdoğan Çetin underlined that bakers are in a difficult situation. “Between 2015 and 2020, the total inflation rate is about 74 percent. The hike rate we are demanding now is perceived as 40 percent. That is, if we have issued one tariff during 5 years, we would need a hike request of 54 percent if we received a hike request according to the inflation increase rates. However, we are demanding only a 40 percent hike. It is significant that this hike has justified reasons. I have difficulty in understanding this: Is the President of Bakers' Federation of Turkey fore or against the bakers? We consider what is good for our citizens in any case. However, our tradespeople are suffering a lot at the moment and have difficulty in making money. He hampers instead of giving us support in terms of the price,” he said.

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