Everything You Need To Know About Lebanon’s New “Food Basket”

Everything You Need To Know About Lebanon's New Consumer Basket
AP/Bilal Hussein

The Lebanese Ministry of Economy released its long-awaited list of subsidized items, commonly known as the “food basket,” and here are its details.

The list includes over 300 food and non-food items distributed under 10 categories that cover goods relating to each of the ministries of economy and industry.

The following are the categories and some examples of their contents:

1. Meat and fish products, and their derivatives:

Includes several types of canned mortadella, canned sardines, fresh and frozen pork, frozen beef, fresh and frozen fish, and canned tuna fish (solid, chunks, or flakes).

2. Fat and oil products:

Includes butter, margarine, pasteurized cheese, vegetable ghee, and different kinds of vegetable oil.

3. Vegetables – fresh, canned, and frozen

Includes fresh onions, fresh garlic, canned mushrooms, and canned corn.

4. Miscellaneous food products

Includes milk for individual consumption, skimmed milk powder, canned cream, sweetened condensed milk, tea, mate, instant coffee, coffee creamer, spaghetti and noodles, soup packets, gravy cubes, dried fruits, baking soda, spices, sugar, and cornflakes.

5. Personal consumption materials

Includes toothpaste, razor blades, bug repellant sprays/tablets, and disposable alkaline batteries.

6. Poultry and livestock

Includes laying hens, cows, sheep, and goats.

7. Supplies for agriculture

Includes pesticides, fertilizers, soil conditioners, in addition to various chemicals, seeds, and seedlings.

8. Animal husbandry – fodder

Includes barley, corn, soy, sugar beet, cotton, fish feed, vitamins, minerals, hormones, and numerous forms of veterinary medicines and vaccines required for livestock and poultry.

9. Ingredients manufactured in Lebanon

Includes a plethora of nationally-produced ingredients such as spices, flour, eggs, starch, oils, acids, nuts, grains and seeds, vegetables, fruit and vegetable essences, sugar, gelatine, and natural food coloring.

10. Industrial supplies

Includes basic industrial materials such as plastics, metals, and polymers, in addition to plates, sheets, rolls, tapes, strips, and other objects used in the processes of synthesizing, packaging, and transporting goods.

Upon releasing the list, the Economy Ministry specified the documents required for submitting requests, and a set of conditions regarding the sale of imported consumer goods in wholesale and retail to consumers in the Lebanese market.

It also warned that any violator of these conditions will be obliged to return the value of the subsidy to the Banque du Liban (BDL), and referred to the judicial authorities.

The Ministry noted that the list may be updated by Minister Raoul Nehme in the future, where needed.

Notably, Nehme previously said that the subsidized items will be designated specific aisles in supermarkets in order to be located easily by shoppers, who should start to sense the new prices within two weeks.

The official announcement of the consumer basket, which includes the full list of subsidized items, can be found on the Economy Ministry’s website.

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