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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Harsh words for baking industry By DOUG SMALL OTTAWA (CP) The food prices review board has attacked a number of bakery industry practices in a report recommending bread price increases of no more than two cents a loaf now and an additional cent "at some future date." In the 26-page report on bread prices, the board reiterated that a four-cent-a- loaf increase proposed in February by the Bakery Council of Canada is unjus- tified. Some bakeries had cost increases ranging from one cent to 1% cents for a 24-ounce loaf of white bread between September last year and the early part of February, the board said. These increases indicated a retail price increase of "not more than two cents per loaf." New information, however, in- dicates that sugar, milk products and cost increases will make an additional retail price increase necessary some time in the future. Board spokesman said the date was left open because cost changes vary from bakery to bakery. Big bread bakers who are able to buy large quantities of materials in advance would not be hit by increases as quickly as smaller operators. "The board considers that this additional retail price increase should not exceed one cent per loaf, and that such an increase should only be imple- mented at the time the additional costs are actually incurred by the Individ al firm." The board had harsh words for a number of bakery selling practices, saying that it questioned the Bakery Council's practice of announcing retail price increases for the whole industry in advance. This "tends to blunt the effec- tiveness of market competition." Further, the board said it did not accept the assumption that the industry should simply pass on all rising costs. "Some parts of the rising costs and margins should be absorbed by the industry." The traditional distribution and pricing system in the industry allows bakers to drain off larger and larger margins with each price increase. To counter this, the board recommended that the common practice of paying salesmen a percentage on the value of his sales be converted to a system based on a volume percentage. Currently, salesmen end up with a windfall every time the price of bread goes up, a board spokesman said. Also, the board recommended that consignment selling to retailers be eliminated to end the "wasteful disposal of much stale bread as animal feed." "Retailers should sell the bread, not return it to bakers." The board also urged the industry to economize on delivery costs by improving trucking schedules from wholesale to retail outlets and recommended that "retailers re- examine the proliferation of loaf sizes and the excesses in packaging." Noting that small and medium-sized bakeries, many of which belong to the bakery council, are having increasing difficulty competing with big, integrated operations, the board suggested that federal and provincial governments give "serious consideration" to the problem. The smaller bakeries have limited access to shelve space in retail chain stores, and the board urged governments to consider alleviating these problems with regional support and development programs. But the report added that it "does not believe that a high price umbrella is an effective nor an efficient solution." Bread prices are currently subsidized at a rate of six cents a loaf following introduction of a revised two-price- wheat program last fall. Taxpayers now million a year and fanners roughly million a year to keep domestic flour prices constant. Under the two-price program, domestic bread wheat sells to bakers at a bushel. Since it takes 2.35 bushels of wheat to make enough flour for 100, 24-ounce loaves of bread, a baker's flour cost is stabilized at 7Vz cents a loaf. Flour is the major cost to bakers, but they also must pay roughly four cents a loaf for other ingredients, including milk and sugar. Sugar prices have doubled recently and milk prices have increased. With wages, overhead and other costs added, it now costs roughly 20 cents to make a loaf of bread. That same loaf sells in stores for about 33 cents. Re- tail margins, profit to the bakers and distribution make up the difference in cost. Consumer Affairs Minister Herb Gray said shortly before the report was released that .the government would have to be prepared "to accept our responsibility" when the document was received. Since the board has no power to control prices, the government is responsible for acting on any of its recommendations. SNAP FIREBALL IN MONTANA 300 SUNGLASSES to choose from AVAILABLE IN YOUR RX REGINA (CP) When Lou Foraie of Regina took two photographs of a fireball wooshing its way across the Montana skies in 1972, he didn't realize the significance of what he'd captured on film. It wasn't until recently, when Mr. Foraie read about a meteor which packed as much energy as an atom bomb and Max Ward Marq de Villiers tells about the innovator and wheeler-dealer who has gone broke twice but now heads Canada's largest charter airline. In Weekend Magazine this Saturday. The Letltbridge Herald which just missed hitting the United States 18 months ago. He checked his slides with the date and description cited in the news story and discovered he had obtained a visual record of the meteor's flight. John Hodges, director of the Regina Astronomical Society and a member of the International Meteoritic Society, says the slides apparently are the only ones taken of the meteor. They can be used to trace the path of the fireball, which apparently left the earth's atmosphere without disintegrating. In addition, Mr. Foraie heard a sonic boom "which most other observers missed. "It occurred notably long after the meteor had gone by and will be valuable in determining the height of the Mr. Hodges said. Scientists estimate the meteorite took a course from Salt Lake City. Utah, north to Calgary, reaching a low point of 36 miles from the earth above eastern Idaho. The meteor's diameter was estimated at 13 feet. Alberta under fire WATERLOO, Ont. (CP) The escalation of domestic oil prices to world levels might be to the advantage of Alberta and Saskatchewan but Ontario questions whether it would be to the advantage of Canada, Ontario Energy Minister Darcy McKeough said Thursday. "It will result in grave problems for the Atlantic provinces already hard pressed in economic terms who have built their economies on the basis of relatively low cost of Mr. McKeough said. He told a University of Waterloo audience that Alberta and Saskatchewan probably would like to see the price of their oil rise to the world level Ontario opposes such an increase because it would hurt the ability of the province to compete with industrial goods on the world market. and the great industrial plant of Ontario is one of the major assets of the the energy minister said. "Anything that prejudices that plant inevitably and inescapably prejudices the welfare and the prospects of Canada." ENERGY COSTS CRITICAL Mr. McKeough said if high energy costs are built into the Canadian economy and the United States succeeds in its production objectives with respect to energy, Canada might be hurt in the 1980s and beyond. "I'm not corning down in favor of a continental energy policy but I am coming down in favor of some very careful policy thinking by our national policy planners." He called for a strong federal government presence and the design of domestic industrial stragegy in which energy policy is an integral part. "In terms of price and supply and markets we need very, careful national Mr. McKeough said. "And if provincial policies intrude too brutally at the cost of that national planning, the price we could p'ay for short term prosperity in Alberta is long term economic embarrassment' for all of Canada." TAX DEBT LONDON (Reuter) Actress Haley Mills must pay about income tax from her earnings as a child actress in Hollywood, the House of Lords decided here. The Lords upheld an appeal by the British tax authorities that Miss Mills, 27. should pay the tax. An appeals court had ruled a year ago that she would not have to pay. The actress had claimed her father, actor John Mills, had set up a special trust fund to protect her income when she was a teen-age star in Hollywood films. But the House of Lords agreed with Britain's inland revenue that dividends from the fund should be treated as the actress's income. Regina snowed under Regina residents were digging themselves out from under a record 24-hour snowfall Thursday, but this gentleman seems to have received more than a fair share of the white stuff. Actually, the snowfall Wednesday dumped 7V2 not quite enought to bury a house, but more than has ever fallen in a single day in Regina. The previous record was 5.8 inches in February, 1938. Friday, March 1, 1874 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD 9 Survives leap VANCOUVER (CP) A 23- year-old Vancouver man was in satisfactory condition in hospital Thursday after leaping almost 200 feet from the Lions Gate Bridge Wednesday. He is the fifth person to survive a plunge from the bridge that spans the entrance to Vancouver harbor. STYLE ADVANCED The style of Habitat in Montreal built for Expo 67 still is architecturally advanced in comparison to other mass apartment building concepts in Canada. SAND GRAVEL tASPHALT 'TOLLESTRUP SAND and GRAVEL Construction Co Ud. PHONE 328-8196 We're sticking to last year's face For those of you who own a passenger car, 1974 brings a pleasant change in the matter of license plates. This year you won't have to struggle desperately trying to remove your old license plates and replace them with new ones. Instead this is what will happen: You will receive a renewal form in the mail. After filling it out you take or mail it, along with the license fee to an issuing office or a Treasury Branch office. There you will receive a new vehicle rf gistration and a set of stickers. The stickers then go on the lower right hand corners of your present plates and that's all there is to it. This revalidation program will apply only to passenger vehicles registered before 1974. If you are registering your car for the first time then you will receive 1973 plates plus the 1974 stickers. Owners of trucks, trailers, motor cycles and other vehicles will receive a new blue and yellow plate for 1974. HIGHWAYS TRANSPORT Motor Vehicle Branch NOW is the time to Get the Jump on Spring! uMfc. .Mh .........______ I -XJ In one of our great new 74 Value Leaders. The selection of colors and models was never better. Come in now and to get you in the Spring mood you'll receive a pot of flowers readyA to bloom. MOTORS And... Remember.. When You Deal with Beny You'll BENY-fit CHEVROLET OLDSMOBILE 2nd AvtniM and 8th Street S. Phone 32S-1101 GMAC ;