COOK ISLANDS BAKERS HURT BY NEW ZEALAND IMPORTS

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Bread makers want government subsidy

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 26, 2008) – The Cook Islands Bakery Association is calling on the government to subsidise locally baked bread.

Recently, some supermarkets have started to import bread from New Zealand, which is cheaper.

The Association’s president, who’s also the managing director of the Avarua bakery, says locally made bread sells for 3.40 US dollars, while the imported variety costs only 2.80 US dollars.

Kervin Aroita says local bakeries need help to survive.

"Since one of the supermarkets imported New Zealand bread, the sales have dropped, because we can’t really compete with the price. The cost of flour has gone up and also the raw ingredients. The cost for us to make a loaf of bread is so costly, we have asked government to help us in a way that we can reduce the cost of bread so it’ll be cheaper for our consumers."

Kervin Aroita is also urging consumers to buy local bread to prevent job losses.

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