Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) chairman, Mr Wahome Muchiri, said the prices of commodities are determined by the suppliers, and they are doing their best to address the situation, in a statement issued to newsrooms on Thursday.
“We are inclined to pursue this engagement so as to provide relief for our customers,” Mr Wahome said.
Most basic commodities are currently in short supply including essential foodstuff such as maize meal, sugar and dairy products, with their prices going up by upto 40%.
“We are embarking on an engagement process with basic commodities suppliers to manage the prevailing shortage,” said Mr Muchiri.
Mr Muchiri said that formal retail traders are not engaging in hoarding of essential food commodities. “We as the intermediary between the suppliers and the retail customers and we continue to suffer poor and acutely erratic deliveries,” he added.
According to RETRAK, formal retailers avail products for sale at supplier recommended prices. He says members have no latitude to set prices at will and remain guided.
Currently, a 2kg packet of maize flour is going for between Ksh160 to Ksh200, a kilo of sugar for almost Sh200 whereas one litre of milk costs Ksh80.
The government has however promised to curb the ever rising prices. Parliament was called from recess on Tuesday to review the budget but the prices are yet to come down.
Mr Muchiri said that the shortage is yet to be overcome, hence rationing may continue in almost all retail outlets.
“All RETRAK members are committed to providing fair access to the commodities in short supply. We therefore request retail customers to cooperate and oblige when called upon to pick products under rationing treatment such as maize meal or sugar, in limited numbers,” read the statement in part.