A group of community bakers said over the weekend they lost about 30 percent of sales in the first few months of the pandemic as a result of border restrictions and lockdown.
The Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino said while some bakeries benefited from the crisis, smaller ones were forced to close shop or operate at limited capacity when the government imposed the enhanced community quarantine early this year.
“The reality of community bakeries is that not everybody has the same opportunities as others. And this has resulted in many closing their bakeries,” APP president Princess Lunar said during a webinar celebrating World Bread Day.
The webinar, hosted by Tinapayan Festival, discussed how the crisis affected the local bread industry.
Commercial bakeries and artisanal/specialty bakeries were not spared by the crisis, according to Tinapayan Festival owner and president Chito Chavez.
Chavez said he was forced to close many of his outlets by operating from his main branch.
“Our stores in U-Belt area are still closed. We have to adapt to the new situation. As a bakery owner, all I’m after, for now, is to survive this crisis. After survival, then we can try to regain what was lost and build a life towards profitability. We need to have protocol in the bakery industry,” he said.
Gerik Cua, president of the Filipino-Chinese Bakeries Association Inc., said some of his bakeries temporarily stopped operations to concentrate on branches with high foot traffic.
The flour milling industry said, however, it has enough supply of wheat and flour throughout the fourth quarter when demand for bread traditionally picks up.
“We are covered for the whole Christmas season. We have already ordered more wheat, and they’re all in the pipeline. We assure everybody that flour will be available on demand and in every location,” said Philippine Association of Flour Millers Inc. executive director Ric Pinca.