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Jun 18, 2008

Flour scarce; Belize Mills promises normalcy next week

Story PictureFollowing initial reports on Tuesday, tonight the position on flour has been clarified. The controlled cost of bread increased by twenty-five cents today and bakers will now have to pay the same eighty-five dollars per hundred pound sack like the rest of us. However, the biggest problem facing consumers is not the price tag of the basic commodity, but rather its availability. Store shelves across the city were empty and according to shop owners like Public’s Supermarket Manager, Ranju Vanjani, he’s been having a difficult time getting a steady supply out of Belize Mills.

Ranju Vanjani, Manager, Public’s Supermarket
“We hard to get flour right now. We gone on Monday and get the flour. We get some, but when we gone today we get chase out and they say come back until Friday.”

Kendra Griffith
“How have your customers been reacting?”

Ranju Vanjani
“Well we promised them for today, but we never get nothing and people have been scolding me and everything and we can’t do nothing.”

Kendra Griffith
“What did they tell you when you go to ADM Mills to buy?”

Ranju Vanjani
“Well they just take the trade license and whatever they want to give, they don’t ask us the amount we want, but they just take the paper and just give us ten, fifteen, ten, fifteen; whatever they want to give us. And we have to take it, we can’t fight with them, there is only one flour mill in Belize.”

When we contacted Belize Mills, we were told that there are several reasons for the shortfall in supply. The first, of course, is that bakers have priority but an increasing number of individual consumers are buying directly from the mill. The factory says they’ve also been trying to clear a backlog of orders that piled up when flour was not available. Our source at Belize Mills says the factory is simply trying to spread the available flour around to as many people as possible. News Five understands that more grain should be coming in tomorrow and things at Belize Mills should be back to normal next week.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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