Restaurant boss makes price promise
As rice prices soar, Indian restaurant boss vows not to pass on costs to his customers
A new report has revealed the cost of basmati rice has rocketed in the wake of a drastic reduction in production and growing demand from other countries.
The price of traditional basmati has soared more than 80 per cent over the past year, according to the Federation of European Rice Millers
Meanwhile Pulsa basmati, a higher yielding variety, has shot up by around 65 per cent.
However, restaurant boss Avi Malik says he refuses to pass on the cost to his customers.
Mr Malik, owner of Raval Luxury Indian Restaurant in Gateshead, said: “We will work with our suppliers and reduce our margins if necessary.
“These are tough economic times and we do not want customers to be hit by the soaring price of rice.
“Raval caters for a lot of corporate clients who are used to paying above average prices for the quality of food we provide.
“However, they still expect value for money. We will find a way to absorb this increase without hitting them in the pocket.”
The price rise could, however, be reflected in supermarket brands.
Trade magazine The Grocer said: "Curry lovers may soon be in for a nasty surprise at the checkout as basmati commodity prices have rocketed on the back of a fall in Indian production and growing demand from the Middle East. "
Prices have risen largely because the 2012 Indian harvest was 25 per cent to 40 per cent smaller than in 2011 as a result of a big reduction in plantings, according to Rice Association director Alex Waugh.
He said that low prices in previous years and an increase in the Indian government minimum support price for non-basmati rice had encouraged farmers to switch away from basmati and farm other varieties.
The Grocer reported that suppliers to high street supermarkets have started to feel the squeeze.
According to market analysts BrandView.co.uk, Basmati accounts for around one third of the rice stocked in UK supermarkets but it accounts for less than one per cent of global rice production.