The Canasta, The Basket of Daily Goods

There has been a lot of talk recently regarding the basket of goods containing everyday products, the cost of which is compared each year.

As we are reminded via the media, the cost of the items in the basic basket is controlled by the government in an effort to give the consumer some much-needed protection against inflation.

According to a GOA publication, the basic basket includes baby food, corn flour, tea, coffee, coffee milk, powdered milk, rice, kitchen oil and baby milk, with no specific brand mention.

On February 1st, 2019, a number of new items were introduced as phase 1.

Phase 2 is upcoming.

When done, the basket will include 1,200 price-controlled items, amplified from 11 to 22 categories.

As a member of the media I salute the effort, with grocery-prices sky rocketing, it must be a mission impossible to feed even an average family, and value shoppers rely greatly on the Save More and Save A Lot food markets.

Cost conscious consumers should have healthy options too, and we should TRY to steer away from Spam as a viable lunch-meat option.

Some comments I heard from importers, regarding the basic basket amplification:

Regarding frozen vegetables, for example, added to the basic basket in phase 1, on Feb 1st, 2019. They are problematic because they required special care, mostly refrigeration, during storage and transportation which is a money costing factor, and if importers cannot charge for the finicky product and enjoy a decent profit margin, they will drop it, and stop importing any of it, besides, if GOA wants indeed to do the right thing and include frozen broccoli, spinach and mixed vegetables in the basic basket it should exempt the product from BBO/BAVP/BAZV, and give up its own profit on the item.

Tuna fish is problematic too, because no two tuna cans are alike. There is tuna, then there is tuna, and premium varieties cannot be included in the basic basket. Same goes for pasta, about to be introduced in phase 2, no two pastas are alike. There is pasta, then there is pasta.

You get it, Piet’s ice cream, VS Haagen-Dazs, with all due respect to Piet’s, it can never be clumped into one category!



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February 05, 2019
Rona Coster