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Possibility of new bakeries irks bakers association

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Aug 28,2019 - Last updated at Aug 28,2019

Bakery Owners Association has urged the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply to cancel its decision to allow the opening of new bakeries (JT file photo)

AMMAN — Bakery Owners Association President Abdul Ilah Hamawi on Wednesday said the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply’s decision to open the chance for receiving applications to build bakeries was “not studied in depth”.

“What we care about is to help the already existing bakeries to stand on their feet,” Hamawi said, noting that bakeries are already warning of shutting down due to the lack of productivity after the gradual lift of subsidies on bread which the government decided earlier.

“The current number of bakeries is sufficient to meet the Kingdom’s need, and so we need to preserve these bakeries and support them,” he said, noting that opening new bakeries will affect the existing ones and the new ones. 

The ministry sells flour to bakeries at a lower rate than international price, which shows that subsidies are not completely lifted on the material provided to bakeries. Opening new bakeries and supporting more of them will reflect negatively on the Treasury, Hamawi said.

There are other costs that need to be considered, including the moving and storage of flour, which would contribute to increasing the price, but the association worked hard to ensure the price of bread, the most vital food resource in the Kingdom, remains affordable, he noted.

The association president also said that otherwise it would have been more than JD0.5 per one kilogramme but this one kilo, mainly round bread, is cheaper in the Kingdom than the rest of the region, given that in some countries in the region it could reach around JD0.75  per kilogramme. 

Hamawi urged the ministry to cancel the decision and avoid the repercussions, allowing the opening of bakeries only in remote areas that lack them. 

Reconsidering the decision will ensure the preservation of the vital sector, according to Hamawi.

He said that the decision entails allowing owners to apply for opening a bakery after these applications were suspended for three years. The new decision also determined the bases and regulations to license bakeries. 

The bases are the space the bakery will occupy, the area’s need for a bakery and its proper placement, in addition to the experience in the field. 

The Jordan Times attempted to contact the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply’s spokesperson for comment, but he was unreachable. 

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