FCCC releases essential price reduction on food items such as oil, powdered milk, canned mackerel fish, potatoes and onions

FCCC releases essential price reduction on food items such as oil, powdered milk, canned mackerel fish, potatoes and onions

By Mansi Chand
Sunday 12/11/2023

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has released an essential price reduction list showing decreases in the retail prices of food items such as oil, potatoes and onions.

This comes as many people raised concerns on the rise on price items on a weekly basis.

The FCCC says they have stood for fair pricing and market regulation to ensure the economic welfare of Fijians amidst the global financial crisis.

The FCCC says despite the challenges of the global market, they have worked hard to navigate international pricing, especially for essential items like rice, milk, flour and fuel, which are predominantly imported due to Fiji's limited local production.

They say when prices change, they either increase, decrease or remain the same and while there has been a focus on the increases, the fact that Fijian consumers are gaining through price regulation measures has not been similarly highlighted.

Urgent calls have been made for the effective and efficient monitoring of the exorbitant increase in prices of some goods at the supermarkets by the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission after many people sent in questions to fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan when Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad appeared on the show earlier this week.

Serious issues were raised about the FCCC being in a reactive mode a lot and people noticed that the prices come down when it is raised as an issue.

They have asked Professor Prasad what is being done about this and what will be done.

Professor Prasad says the FCCC has reviewed 232 products after the 2022-2023 National Budget where 40 percent of these prices saw price reductions while prices of some items went up for example the increase in the price of chickens.

Professor Prasad says some supermarkets were adding 15 percent to the 9 percent after the budget announcement and that is when FCCC and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service were on the ground as they did not want to tolerate the unscrupulous behaviour from businesses.

He says there were other measures in the budget apart from the mitigation package and the government had reduced duty on meat products such as chicken portion, chicken wings, beef, pork, prices of all canned fish have reduced since August.

The FCCC had also declined requests for price increases of port charges and sugar prices however when international prices, shipping and other associated costs increase for businesses then only costs relevant to price-controlled products are passed on.

The FCCC says it is also true for tariff reviews, for example in 2019 EFL had sought a 17.5% increase in electricity rates, FCCC after its review granted only a 2.74% increase.

The FCCC says he remains steadfast in their commitment to keeping markets fair for Fijian businesses and consumers as among these price reductions is the cost of powdered milk, a staple in every Fijian household.

The Rewa Full Cream Milk Powder saw a 5% decrease from $5.16 to $4.90 per 400 grams, Red Cow Instant Full Cream Milk Powder dropped by 7% to $5.47 per 450 grams with 21 brands of soyabean and canola oil, along with 16 brands of canned mackerel fish, also experienced significant price drops.

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Items that have their prices reduced include Golden Soyabean Oil 350ml $2.47 to $2.09, Golden Soyabean Oil 500ml $3.10 to $2.54, Golden Soyabean Oil 750ml $4.47 to $3.64, Golden Soyabean Oil 1Litre $5.71 to $4.61, Golden Soyabean Oil 2Litres $11.28 to $9.34, Golden Soyabean Oil 4Litres $21.57 to $17.16 and FMF Soyabean Oil (12 x 1L) $4.12 to $3.88.

Also reduced are Ocean King Mackerel in Tomato Sauce 155g $0.99 to $0.88.

Potatoes and onions have been reduced as well according to the supplier which means potatoes 1kg (Fresher Produce Ltd) $3.45 to $2.86, 500g $0.43 to $0.31, Onions 1kg (Cambridge) $3.00 to $2.50, potatoes 1kg (Shiu Prasad) $3.04 to $2.28.

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The price for salt has also been reduced for the following brands Nands Pacific Distribution Pte Ltd Pacific Free Flow Iodized Salt: 1kg $0.80 to $0.58.

There is also a significant reduction in the retail prices for Rewa Butter, effective from yesterday following a 19 percent decrease in landing cost of bulk raw butter, when compared to its last assessment.

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