By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Charlestown, Nevis) ” The Nevis Island Administration met with local bakers and discussed the possibility of raising bread prices earlier this week, according to Junior Minister Dwight Cozier. The bakers are asking to increase bread prices because of a cost increase in their ingredients due to rising fuel costs. Clinton Willis, the owner of Nevis Bakery, says almost all ingredient prices have risen over 100 percent since the last time the NIA authorized an increase in the price of bread. Two examples were yeast, which went from $115 per case to $250 and shortening, which went from $85 to $220. “Wholesalers are raising our prices without warning,” said Mr. Willett. “We have been having trouble getting flour from the (Nevis) supply store. We have been able to get it from the St. Kitts store, but we are paying shipping costs twice for it.” A bag of flour has been costing Mr. Willett $76 per bag from the Nevis supply store. Flour is higher from St. Kitts, and by the time he pays for the added shipping, a bag of St. Kitts flour costs him $120. The price of a 7 oz. loaf of bread is set at $1.75. Nevis bakers would like to see the price increased to at least $2.25. “That is still lower than the price on St. Kitts,” he said. “I heard (the NIA) was going to have a cabinet meeting about this. I hope they do something fast. This situation is really making things hard for us.”