Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) will starting from next week issue a recommended price list for basic food items for its products in a bid to arrest spiraling prices on the market, 263ChatBusiness has established.
The development comes at a time the cost of living has relatively shot up against depleting RTGS dollar values earned by the majority of Zimbabweans.
The situation has been exacerbated by the firming of the exchange rate which most retailers are using to back prices on the market.
In an interview with this publication, GMAZ spokesperson Garikai Chaunza said the prices will be revealed early next week pending finalization of review meetings by the technical committee on finance.
“I can confirm that we will be having price monitoring of the commodities that we are producing such as maize meal, flour, rice and salt. The technical committee on finance is having a meeting to review the prices. We will announce the prices early next week,”
He said owing to market indiscipline, GMAZ will be deploying 150 price monitors across the country to asses compliance with the set prices also taking cognizance that retailers have to put a traditional 10 percent mark-up plus two percent tax or risk being cut off supplies.
“Mark up retailers are supposed to be putting should be 10 percent and an additional two percent for tax. This is a total of 12 percent,” added Chaunza.
Currently GMAZ is supplying retailers a 10 kg pack of mealie meal at $ 10.50 and adding the cumulative 12 percent of mark-up and tax, the product should be sold on the retail market at $ 11.76.
However contrary to this, most supermarkets within Harare CBD are charging a 10 kg pack of mealie meal between $ 13 and $ 15.
In a statement earlier this week, GMAZ said the exercise will be done in an amicable way together with retailers.
‘Our major thrust will be that of hearing from them (retailers) challenges they might be facing that could be making it difficult for them to comply with the prices we agreed on our products and we are doing this so that we amicably move together and eradicate price distortions,” the statement read.
However, retailers argue that while they appreciate staying within reasonable price stipulations, they operated in a highly inflationary environment that required them to reciprocate in order to be able to cover other rising costs such as that of fuel.
GMAZ says it has sufficient supplies to feed the nation despite foreign currency delays in some instances to procure raw materials such as wheat.