Commenting on news that consumer foods maker Tiger Brands will increase the price of bread by 40 cents from Monday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said consumers were already hit hard by rising fuel and school uniform prices.
Reflects rising wheat pricesThe maker of Albany bread said the price hike had nothing to do with the R99-million bread price collision scandal, but reflected the cost of rising wheat prices.
Prices of wheat ? which make up about 20 percent of bread input costs ? have risen from around 1800 rand per ton at the beginning of last year to well over 3,000 rand per ton this year.
Analysts said Tiger Brand competitors Pioneer Foods and Premier Foods were expected also to announce price increases, responding to high input costs.
Pioneer Foods and Premier Foods were also implicated in the bread price fixing scandal.
"The strong suspicion therefore remains that these three companies are acting in collusion to make bigger profits at the expense of poor consumers, and that Tiger Brands is passing the cost of the R99-million fine to its customers," Cosatu said.
The union added that it would commission its research arm, the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI), to look into allegations of price fixing in the production and distribution of all food chains, and find out the "real reasons" for the increases.