LCMA to sue parties spreading false propaganda detriment to industry | Daily News

LCMA to sue parties spreading false propaganda detriment to industry

Industry representatives of LCMA at the press conference. Picture by Wimal Karunatillike
Industry representatives of LCMA at the press conference. Picture by Wimal Karunatillike

Lanka Confectionery Manufacturers Association (LCMA) says that they will resort to legal action against people and social media who are spreading false propaganda especially on price increases with the aim of destroying this industry.

Raw metrical, energy, transport and packaging costs have gone up and the industry like all other product manufactures was forced to increase prices and adopted other cost cutting measures to keep their businesses going. The ongoing Russia Ukraine war too resulted in a huge increase in wheat prices, (key raw material for the confectionery industry) as both countries are major suppliers.

Confectionery price increase which is happening after a long lapse of time is not only alined with Sri Lanka but a global phenomena and locally tarnishing our industry buy a few is highly questionable,” said President LCMA, Suriya Kumara. “Some people are promoting a slogan ‘not to buy biscuit’ products”.

Prices of products like washing power mainly made by multinationals have increased from Rs. 190 to 500 plus but no such negative publicity has been created.

“Therefore, we request the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and all other ministers to provide the necessary support to maintain this industry which is 100% owned by local industrialists without allowing them to collapse.”

In the past few months the price of the raw materials used in the production of sweets has increased by almost two hundred percent, “Our Confectionery products have only one world class standard and though production costs escalated, quality was never compromised,” he emphasized. .

The price of a kilo of wheat flour, which is the main ingredient used in the production of sweets, has increased by 277% from Rs. 77 to 290. The price of a kilo of sugar has increased by 180% from Rs. 114 to 320 and the price of vegetable oil has increased by 195% from Rs. 475 to 1400. In contrast the price of biscuits has been increased by only 171% from Rs. 100 rupees 271.

“Local confectionery products are exported to 50 countries bringing an annual income of USD 150 million,” said Director Asoka Bandara. If negative publicity continues and people stop buying the factories that provide 50,000 direct and 500,000 indirect jobs may have to shut down or relocate to another country. In addition 25% to 30% of the income of 150,000 retail stores is marketing confectionaries while more than 20,000 farmers are direct suppliers to confectionery manufacturers.’ Also we pay a huge amount of taxes to the government annually.” 

“There are about 30 local producers with our association and during the pandemic, we took the pressure and worked to provide our products to the customers without increasing any amount. We invested over Rs. 3 billion to engage in COVID related CSR as well and the government must seriously look to investigate and provide a solution for this issue as the industry is not looking for concessions but only support .”(SS)

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