CAMEROON –  Two outlets of Selecte Bakeries in Yaoundé, the Selecte Etoa-Meki and Selecte Cathédrale bakeries have been placed under seal, ordered to shut down for noncompliance with the government’s price standards set for a baguette.

This decision was in response to the Ministry’s request on October 19 for bakers to significantly and immediately reduce bread and bakery product prices.

“Following strict instructions issued by the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana, teams from the regional delegation of Trade in the Central region (…) have sealed off (…) the Selecte Etoa-Meki and Selecte Cathédrale bakeries in Yaoundé,” the trade department said on November 13.

This administrative closure is due to the “non-compliance with the agreed price and the regulatory weight of the 200-gram baguette,” the ministry said on its Facebook page.

The price of the 200-gram baguette officially dropped from CFA150 to CFA135 on November 1, following the consultation meeting held between Minister Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana and the Employers’ Union of Bakers in Cameroon.

After this meeting, the government official declared that this price is immediately applicable, specifying that the CFA15 reduction “will apply to all types of bread.”

However, bakers and the state disagreed on the price cut, prompting the union to send a letter to the government with its proposed price cut of CFA10, which the state deemed small and inadequate.

The union cited factors such as salaries, taxes, additives, yeast, and fuel costs in the bread-making process to explain its CFA10 reduction decision.

However, this explanation did not convince the Ministry, which revealed that most bakers even fail to meet weight standards in their bread production.

To “ensure compliance” with this price, the Ministry of Trade said it had given instructions to its control services to ensure the effective implementation of this decision.

It also announced strengthened control of the weight of bread to guarantee the quality and quantity of the product offered to consumers, as bakers are often accused of reducing the product by a few grams.

The sealing of these two Selecte bakeries is only a first step in the government’s efforts to “restore order” in this commercial sector.

“Other similar operations are underway throughout the national territory to put an end to unfair practices. Consumers are also encouraged to report any abuse or fraudulent behavior to the Ministry of Trade services,” said the ministry.