Compact to continue with slightly higher markup range; 47 items remain Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

Some entities have dropped out of the Government’s social compact with the private sector. However, the Government struck a deal with remaining businesses on the list of items which sell at a reduced price for a period of six months.

Last year on July 16, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley signed a compact with the business community which allowed for reduced prices on 47 items in the supermarket. The compact concluded on January 31, 2023.

During a press conference this Thursday, Senior Minister for Coordinating the Productive Sectors, Kerrie Symmonds said that the second phase of the compact will be “slightly adjusted”.

Speaking to local media at the Culloden Road, St Michael offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Symmonds declared that in accordance with the previous agreement, the discounted basket of goods will include 47 items.

However, distributors and manufacturers have agreed to work with a slightly adjusted markup range this toss, the markup range from 12 to 15 per cent, has been amended to 12 to 18 per cent on dry goods and 12 to 20 per cent on cold storage products now in Phase 2.

“In the original compact, it was a range 12 to 15 per cent across the board with them carrying a continuing increasing level of expenditure with respect to electricity. Then it is only reasonable that they be given an adjustment there,” he remarked.

The Senior Minister added that the Government has yet to decide on whether Value Added Tax (VAT) will be removed from several of the items again. This will become known after it is proposed in Cabinet.

Despite rumblings among farmers, some pork and poultry producers have returned to the compact.

He shared that the pork producers who have signed on, have agreed to a markup of 10 per cent, selling at $7.25 per pound or 15.95 per kilograms. Pork hocks, knuckles, pork mix stew from the hind or legs will retail at $7.75 or $17.05 per kilogram.

Symmonds noted that the prices were in the “upper price limits” and could be discounted during a glut.

Broaching on the topic of egg and poultry farmers who vehemently rejected re-entering the social compact because they were operating at a loss in Phase 1, the Senior Minister explained that some poultry farmers and producers have reconsidered and will be working with supermarket retailers to determine the best price in Phase 2 of the compact.

The companies participating in the second phase of the social compact include: Massy Stores; A1 Supermarkets; Jordans Supermarket; Popular Supermarket; Bridge Supermarket; Cherish Supermarket; People’s Market; RL Seale Supermarket; Armstrong Agencies; Stansfeld Scott; Massy Distribution; Bryden Stokes; Weston Wholesales; Supreme Distributors; Hassell Inniss; Purity Bakeries; Crumbz and Zepherines.

The Senior Minister did not indicate when Phase 2 of the social compact will commence, but said it will take effect once it was “cleared” by Cabinet.