First signs warning of the impending increase in food prices were the delays in the testing of food shipments for the holy month of Ramadan. Abdallah Al-Buaijan, the Chairman of Kuwait Union of Foodstuff Manufacturers and Importers made statements about the issue of slow approval of food shipments. Co-ops are wary of a 20-30 percent price hike due to a product shortage. Meanwhile, Chairperson of Yarmouk Cooperative Society Faisal Al-Ansari stated that the cooperative societies will bear the extra burden of relieving Kuwaiti and expatriate consumers in case the concerned companies raise the prices of their products.
Due to the situation, he mentioned that the board of directors decided to subsidize vegetables, a staple food for families, for 10 days during Ramadan. He added that housewives were queried about the basic Ramadan products for a Kuwaiti family and subsequently, it was decided which products the cooperative should subsidize. Moreover, he said the Co-op will make an effort to reduce prices of fresh meat during the first 10 days of holy month.
As for Imported Products, according to the President of Firdous cooperative Eid Al-Nasafi, it is essential to bring in imports awaiting test results at the earliest as the increase in supply will reduce the prices in line with consumer interests.
Nuzha Coop President Faisal Al-Rashdan shared his sentiment, and requested officials at the Health Ministry’s laboratories and Kuwait Municipality to take the necessary steps to ensure early product delivery.
In the meantime, Hitteen Coop President Ishaq Al- Kandari mentioned that flooding the market with imported food products quickly will help the Ramadan sales festivals to succeed. He said the Co-op will organize a Ramadan campaign with the intention to provide reduced rates for patrons.