Bakeries struggle with wheat flour shortage

BY Dinitha Rathnayake

The wheat flour supply for bakery products is down by 25%, according to All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association President M.K. Jayawardena.

Speaking to The Morning, Jayawardena said that Christmas and New Year shoppers are likely to face disappointment as shops and supermarkets across the country will not be able to stockpile bakery and confectionery products for the festive seasons due to a looming shortage of raw materials in the supply chain.

“Wheat flour is not the only problem we face. Most of the cookers and ovens work from kerosene, diesel, or gas. There is a shortage of that as well. We really don’t know how to survive,” he stressed.

According to Jayawardena, most of the bakeries are now working only for five days. He said: “The ongoing shortage disruption is the biggest risk we see to the sustainability of our businesses.

“Prices of all ingredients have gone up and we cannot bear it anymore. We are not even sure about providing bakery products for the upcoming festive season.”

Bakers have been waiting for a solution from the Government that never came, which has prompted them to increase prices of their products following an internal discussion among bakery owners islandwide, Jayawardena said.

“We hope that the Government takes this into consideration and addresses this issue immediately,” Jayawardena added.