HomeShoppingNumber of shops participating in price stability scheme doubles to 400

Number of shops participating in price stability scheme doubles to 400

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Over 400 businesses have signed up for the government’s scheme that urges importers and retailers to push down the prices of basic food items. 

Earlier this month, the government announced that up to 400 basic food items would see their recommended prices lowered by at least 15% in a bid to curb inflation.

By January 18, some 200 shops had signed up to the scheme which is expected to last until the end of the year.

On Wednesday – the day before the scheme kicks off – the government said the number of shops has doubled to over 400.

The number of products also increased to 450.

Consumers can now access the recommended prices here

In a statement, the government said the agreement with retailers and importers was a historic one. 

Times of Malta exercise however shows that several food items earmarked for price reductions through the scheme are unlikely to see big cuts at the supermarket till, if anything at all.

The recommended retail price (RRP) of an item is set by the importer, with shops then choosing to either sell at that price or compete by charging less.

Some outlets already sell items cheaper than the reduced recommended retail price.

The products include different brands of corned beef, cornflakes, cream crackers, fresh and frozen minced beef and pork, packed fresh and frozen pork chops, frozen raw chicken legs, frozen raw whole chicken, frozen peas, broccoli and spinach, imported black tea bags, instant coffee including decaff, skipjack tuna in vegetable, soya or sunflower oil, standard low fat and reduced salt vegetable spreads, straight cut frozen friable French fries, UHT skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole fat milk in cartons or bottle wheat spaghetti and penne packets of all sizes.

Meanwhile, according to a Central Bank economic update, inflation on unprocessed food almost doubled in December.

The bank’s index through which inflation is measured classifies food as either processed or unprocessed.

The latter, which includes meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, shot up to 12.2% in December – up from 6.7% the previous month.

Processed food, meanwhile, dropped slightly from 7.3% to 7.1% during the same period.

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