RETAILERS have unilaterally increased the bread price from $1,40 to $2.50 a loaf but the Grain Millers' Association of Zimbabwe yesterday insisted this has nothing to do with the cost of flour.
"These bread price increases are, however, not in any way associated with flour cost drivers as the product supply price to bakers has remained constant," said GMAZ media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza.
He bemoaned constrained flour supply.
"Flour supplies to bakers have, however, remained suppressed due to the non-availability of foreign currency to bring in imported wheat which is still held in Beira."
The National Bakers' Association of Zimbabwe has attributed the shortages of bread on the market to lack of foreign currency to import wheat to make flour.
The association's president, Mr Ngoni Mazango, told our Midlands Bureau at the weekend that they had submitted applications for foreign currency to Government and were waiting for it to release the money.
"The Government has promised us an intervention on foreign currency which we require as bakers which was going to account for 80 percent of our forex requirement but in the month of November we only received 30 percent of the 80 percent," he said.
"In December we received 27 percent of the 80 percent and this January we received 9 percent. We are grateful for the gesture, but it is not enough."
Mr Mazango said the association has been engaging Government and the GMAZ on the way forward.
He said their members did not have money to pay for wheat.
Bread is basic commodity and bakers supply 1,9 million loaves daily.
Lobels, Proton and Baker's Inn control over 90 percent of the market.
Bread shortages have manifested in queues at most supermarkets every morning and in the evenings.