The Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry as part of its mandate to ensure fair pricing in the marketplace has been monitoring the prices of items at supermarkets in Trinidad. A review of supermarket prices prior to, and following the flooding in October 2018 has revealed that the vast majority of prices of items remained the same. During the exercise it was noted that very few price increases were observed but these were determined to be normal changes and not necessarily because of the action by merchants in response to floods. Some items also decreased in price which is due to specials offered by vendors.
Between October 10th and 18th 2018, the Consumer Affairs Division (CAD), Trinidad conducted a retail price survey of one hundred and eighteen (118) selected food items across thirty - nine (39) supermarkets in twenty (20) areas in Trinidad. The selected products, which impact consumers across all income groups, were derived from a basket of goods survey conducted by the Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2014. The Division continues to use this basket of selected goods to monitor prices on a monthly basis.
On October 19th 2018, constant rainfall throughout the day caused severe flooding in several communities in Trinidad. Due to the floods and the relief efforts that followed, there were concerns that supermarkets would raise prices of certain commodities which were in high demand. With this in mind, the CAD conducted a post flooding survey between October 29th and 31st of sixty five (65) items, the prices of which may have been affected by the recent flooding. The accompanying tables reflect pre and post flood prices.
While the Division continues to monitor prices and educate citizens in Trinidad and also in Tobago through the Tobago House of Assembly’s unit, members of the public are urged to exercise their power of choice and select shopping locations wisely. Additionally consumers are reminded to examine goods before purchasing, use substitutes where possible, scan cupboards and pantries and make a list prior to visiting the supermarket and always remember to request and keep receipts in anticipation of any event where goods may have to be returned/exchanged.
Visit the MTI’s website at http://tradeind.gov.tt/consumer-affairs-division/ the CAD’s Facebook page @consumeraffairstt or contact the Unit at 800-4227 or 623-2931 ext 6150 to learn more.