COVID-19: Traders urged to refrain from unnecessarily marking up prices of basic food items

Vendors and consumers at the Suva market. Picture: FT FILE

Fiji’s Agriculture Ministry has called on all those who are in the market supply chain to consider the impact of COVID-19 on all Fijian households and to refrain from unnecessarily marking up prices of basic food items such as crops and vegetables.

Agriculture Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy has urged producers, middlemen, and vendors to sell their items at a reasonable price to ensure a mutually beneficial trade effect within the supply chain and also for the consumers.

He stressed the ministry would continue to deploy its officers to local municipal markets and satellite markets to collate information on market prices and to negotiate should there be unnecessary price hiking.

“We are living in extraordinary times and these are trying times for all of us, to say the least, I am urging all who are in the supply and value chain to be considerate of their fellow Fijian during this time,” Mr Reddy said.

“We reiterate our commitment to ensuring access to acceptable food of nutritional value for all Fijians but we cannot do this alone, we need the support of our stakeholders, in particular our producers, our middlemen and vendors to be on the same page.”

Dr Reddy elaborated that seeing as Government did not regulate vegetable and crop prices in the market, the onus remained within the supply chain to consider the ramifications of marking up prices on their respective businesses.

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