No foodstuff price increases before Ramadan: Union Chief

Food security is a crucial part of the national development agenda

KUWAIT: Ali Hashim Al-Kandari, Chairman of the Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies (center) inaugurates the Kuwait International Agro Food Expo yesterday. —KUNA

KUWAIT: Foodstuff prices will not rise before Ramadan, an official assured yesterday. “People say prices will increase before or during Ramadan, but this is not correct,” said Ali Hashim Al-Kandari, Chairman of the Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies (UCCS). UCCS has not increased prices of any products since 2016. We will not allow any artificial hikes in the prices of any product before Ramadan, and for this purpose, we have formed a committee to monitor prices in all co-ops. The committee will not approve any price hike suggested by any company.”

Kandari made his statements yesterday after inaugurating the Kuwait International Agro Food Expo; an event that Kuwait hosts for the first time. “We will be meeting soon with one of the biggest agents in the local market to set a plan for subsidizing some of their products and lower their profit by 10-15 percent, which is considered as their cooperation with the union. This will relieve consumers’ expenditure,” he added. But prices of some products differ from one co-op to another. “If the products are under the control of the union, they should be of the same price in all co-ops, but this doesn’t apply to other items. Also, some co-ops run festivals or promotions with discounts on various items,” he explained.

Over 35 companies from 10 countries are participating in the two-day fair which takes place at Hall 4A of the International Fair Ground in Mishref. The expo is an important event as food security is a crucial part of the national development agenda of the government, Kandari stated. “Such exhibitions are useful for the local market. The participants in the expo are displaying new products, and new agents are participating as well. This provides a wider variety of food products to the local market, and also increases competition,” he noted.

“After my tour of the expo, I noticed many high-quality products. Also, the timing of the expo is perfect as it is close to the start of the holy month of Ramadan, when people focus more on purchasing food,” concluded Kandari.


This article was published on 18/03/2018