Food prices

2009-01-29 00:00

The provincial MEC for Agriculture and Environmental Affairs, Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, has taken a bold step in inviting executives of major food retail outlets into consultation about a desirable reduction of basic food prices. This initiative was prompted in part by the recent falls in the price of fuel. Food prices cannot be governed entirely by the fickle cost of fuel, yet the current more positive scenario has acted as an incentive and there are signs that the discussions are beginning to bear fruit.

Allegations sometimes surface to the effect that certain supermarket chains are unscrupulously harsh in their dealings with suppliers. Using their financial muscle, it is all too easy for them to rule the roost. If large retail outlets are prepared to show innovation and compassion in order to relieve food price pressure, especially on the poor, it is a good and healthy sign.

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