Supermarket industry sees dev’t of industry as key to stable prices

Supermarket industry sees dev’t of industry as key to stable prices

A SUPERMARKET industry association said the National Government must develop the industrial sector to address unstable food prices.

In a statement, Steven L. Cua, president of the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association, said the growth of domestic industry will head off unemployment, ensure stable prices, and keep goods affordable.

With rising prices, “the nation is now facing ‘shrinkflation’ (as) retailers cater to the smaller budgets of consumers (by offering products with reduced content),” Mr. Cua said.

In a survey presented by Capstone-Intel Corp. at a media forum, six out of 10 respondents expect to be food-secure over the next six months.

The survey also concluded that 46% of households spend P1,001-P2,500 on food weekly, and that rising food costs could put more households in financial distress.

“Stability in food costs is critical for family budgeting nationwide. Persistently elevated food inflation could rapidly push more households into financial distress without mechanisms to offset price pressures on key dietary necessities,” Capstone-Intel Research and Publications Director Ella Kristina Domingo-Coronel said.

Mr. Cua said unemployment will rise if the National Government fails to address pressing food insecurity by supporting domestic industry.

“Either we have to come up with new brands or a lot of foreigners come in with their brands. That will lead to another surge of unemployment,” he said.

“We have to think of our own. We have to develop our industries if 20 years from now we want to see a brighter future,” he added.

Mr. Cua wants to see a drop in inflation consistent with falling food prices.

Capstone-Intel said its survey indicates that 59% of its respondents describe themselves as “very secure” or “secure” in terms of food for the next six months.

Meanwhile, 42% said that they have some concerns with 34% saying they are neither secure or insecure and 8% “insecure” or “very insecure.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile