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Food industry vows to join government's battle to stabilize prices

2012/06/08 18:25:44

Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah signed a joint statement with representatives from the food industry Friday to underscore the government's determination to work together with the private sector to fight unreasonable price hikes.

The statement said the government and food enterprises will poolforces to stop a "negative chain reaction" in daily commodities priceincreases.

Jiang said recent price fluctuations were partly inspired by sensational media reports about price hikes of certain popular brands or retail chains that ultimately fueled a negative chain reaction.

In reality, the vice premier said, many enterprises did not follow the trend to jack up prices in the wake of fuel and electricity price hikes.

"These businesses are willing to absorb the rising ingredient costs and help maintain market stability," Jiang said. "Regrettably, their positivedeeds have seldom been reported."

Business organizations that signed the statement included the Taiwan Confectionery Biscuit and Floury Food Industry Association, Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association, Taiwan Flour Mills Association, Taiwan Fermenting Food Industry Association, and Taiwan Canners Association.

Enterprises that did so included Uni-President Enterprise Corp., Wei Chuan Group, Taisun Enterprise Co., Vedan Enterprise Corp., and AGV Products Corp.

In the statement, the endorsers vowed to help stabilize prices of daily necessities and reflect costs reasonably. If the prices of imported raw materials moved down, they agreed to trim pricesfor their products.

The statement also featured a pledge to support and follow the government's price stabilization measures.

Meanwhile, Fair Trade Commission Chairman Wu Shiow-ming told lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan earlier in the day that investigations had been launched on 76 cases concerning alleged irregularities related to commodity price hikes and associated decisions by suppliers.

One of the cases involved a milk powder company that, according to the vice premier, was suspected of raising prices in an "unreasonable" manner, Wu said.

He said any alleged irregularities, if found to be true, would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

(By Angela Tsai, Sherry Tang, Chen Wei-ting and Elizabeth Hsu)