A price adjustment of products in the basic basket seems responsible and defensible

WILLEMSTAD – The Association of Supermarkets of Curaçao (SUVECU) has indicated that the established margins of the basic basket “Makutu Basiko” are generally not high enough to conduct healthy business activities.

And because supermarkets cannot make a reasonable profit on certain products, and sometimes even incur losses, it is – ultimately – not favorable to the consumer. This emerges from the opinion recently given by the Economic and Social Council (SER) on the latest proposal by the Minister of the Economy to adjust and widen the basic basket.

The SER indicates in its report that according to Survived, an average of 20 percent of supermarket product turnover comes from the basic basket. It is an average; The exact share depends on the type of supermarket. Supermarkets sell these products because they are products that everyone needs and to attract customers for the purchase of other products for which no maximum margin has been established. Because supermarkets have to compensate for the “loss” on products in the basic basket, the other products (representing on average 80% of sales) are more expensive than is really necessary. It is therefore not in the interest of the consumer, nor of the supermarkets. If supermarkets/retailers have the possibility to determine product margins themselves, there will be more diversity in prices and therefore competition, which also serves the interest of the consumer.

The SER also indicates that it is particularly surprised that the prescribed prices for bread and eggs are unchanged, or even slightly lower, after a period of ten years. The SER therefore wonders whether the Minister has taken into account the inflation figures of the last ten years, including the sharply rising “cost of doing business” and the increase in the sales tax (OB).

The SER report indicates that in April this year (2022) there was a shortage of eggs in Curaçao, which was partly the result of the shortage of laying hens and partly of the sharp increase in feed prices. “A price adjustment appears to be responsible and defensible,” the advisory report said.

Eleanor C. William