Hundreds of bakery owners protested on Tuesday in front of the Ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade, while Supply Minister Bassem Ouda held a meeting with the Head of the General Division for Bakeries Abdallah Ghorab to discuss the owners’ demands.
The owners are opposing the ministry’s new policies affecting flour and bread prices and demanding it revoke the policy decision.
The new policies state that the government will sell flour to bakery owners at the global market value of EGP 296 per sack. The owners would then sell baked bread to the government at the global market price of EGP 0.34 per loaf. As the sack makes around a thousand loaves, the owners would receive net revenue of around EGP 38 to meet the costs of production and achieve profit, Adel Khamis, a bakery owner in Ain Shams, explained.
The owners used to buy the flour sack for EGP 10. They received EGP 50 as revenue for baking and selling the thousand bread loaves produced from each sack, which left them EGP 40 to meet other production costs and achieve profit, according to Hassan Abdel Khaleq, a bakery owner in Badrasheen. “The EGP 30 gave us minimal profit. Now with the new system, we make no profit at all, as most of the money left for us is spent on production costs, especially on buying bran.”
Owners blocked Qasr Al-Eini Street, where the ministry is located, and chanted against the minister of supply, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, and President Mohamed Morsi, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
Khamis said the owners are demonstrating to express their anger over the minister’s delay in responding to their demands. He added that they would strike and refrain from baking bread if their demands are not met.
Ghorab said the owners submitted their demands to Supply Minister Ouda on 27 February. He added that the minister should respond to the demands during his meeting with him. “My demands are the same demands of bakery owners.”