As CNY approaches, Sarawak bakers reducing production
Bakers are not coming up with a large number of festive goodies this time round, says Wong. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

LONDON, Jan 19 — Many bakers have reduced their production volume despite the approaching Lunar New Year, said Sarawak Bread and Cake Makers Association chairwoman Mary Wong yesterday.

According to her, baking industry players are not coming up with a large number of festive goodies this time round in light of the restriction enforced by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“Now that there will be no open house this coming Chinese New Year, the production and sale of festive goodies such as layered cakes and cookies will more or less be affected,” she said when contacted by The Borneo Post here.

However, Wong said they did not have the statistics such as the percentage of reduction in production.

On whether the price of cakes and cookies was unchanged, she said: “I do not think any seller would want to hike up the price because the business volume is already not there.”

She opined that reviewing the price upward would only make the matter worse even though the price of ingredients such as flour and sugar had gone up.

“It will be hard to sell your products if the price is too high. I believe the prices will more or less be the same as previous years.”

She could not quantify the increasing cost of production as she could not recall how much the price of ingredients had gone up.

To a question, Wong said there was no shortage of supply of ingredients.

She also opined that the demand for layered cakes and cheesecakes could be lower compared to before because there would be no major celebration this festive season.

“In fact, our businesses are affected not just during this Chinese New Year but ever since the pandemic because functions such as birthday dos and dinners cannot be held.

“When there are no birthday dos and dinners, the demand for cakes drops.

“And no open house allowed for this Chinese New Year is another blow,” she said.

SDMC has recently announced that activities such as open house, house to house visits, reunion dinners in restaurants and hotels, festive bazaars and celebrations at temples and public places are not allowed.

Under the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the coming festive celebration is allowed only on the first day, which is Feb 12, with not more than 20 family members. — Borneo Post