27 Mar 2008

Cook Islands government considers supporting local bakers

10:52 am on 27 March 2008

The Cook Islands government is considering to support local bakers amid fears of an industry collapse.

Recently, some supermarkets have started to import New Zealand bread, which is cheaper and many Cook Islanders have now stopped buying locally made bread.

The Cook Islands Bakery Association has called on the government to subsidise local bread to help with the industry's survival.

The deputy prime minister's chief executive officer, Ratu Mato, says government is aware of the problem and is looking into it.

"He will look at ways of assisting, maybe by removing the VAT on the imported raw material. The deputy prime minister has requested the minister of finance to look into the impact on government revenue. So at this stage we haven't received anything from the ministry of finance."

Ratu Mato says it hasn't consulted the public on the matter.