MUKAH: Malaysians are quite synonymous with street burgers as part of night enjoyment, thus making it part of unique local culture.
Street burgers are often offered at reasonable cheap prices, prepared promptly and nicely by street vendors.
For burger sellers, chicken eggs are a requisite ingredient that needs to be used.
At the moment, burger sellers are faced with the issue of limited supply of chicken eggs and frequent changing prices in the market have clearly been troublesome and putting elements of surprises that do not go well with most customers.
Here in Mukah, the burger-selling team of Maswin Musafir and her husband Fadil Salleh had to limit their daily benjo (egg-based burger) menu and sale.
“When I get a large supply of eggs, I usually do not limit customers to buy benjo.
“In fact, it is very difficult for traders like us to queue up in purchasing eggs every day, especially when one is limited to one or two sets of eggs.
“We are lucky if managed to purchase some but sometimes we would go home empty-handed.
“The prices of these chicken eggs nowadays seem to be quite expensive when it involves Omega eggs or free-range chicken eggs.
“When it comes to the profit and loss of this burger business, we are looking at the availability of chicken eggs and their prices. At present, eggs are scarce and their prices are certainly getting more expensive,” she said when speaking to Suara Sarawak/New Sarawak Tribune.
She said the issue of eggs seemed to fill the news on social media every day. She also asked a friend on social media about shop that sells chicken eggs.
In fact, she said, in the past, a new set of eggs was sold for RM8 to RM9 while now it is increasing day by day to RM13 and RM14 and this will continue to rise.
However, she said that hitherto they had not increased the prices of their burgers.
“In this business, the two of us now usually use at least two sets of eggs daily but there are times when we need three sets of chicken eggs daily,” she explained.
Famous for the Ramly Burger brand in Mukah, they just hope that the government can take a serious look at the issue of sudden increase in prices of eggs.
“We traders are upset. We are torn between keeping our customers and staying afloat. If we increase the selling prices, we are afraid of losing some customers.
“Without these customers, we will not be able to sell our burgers,” she pointed out.
To fellow customers, she said that it is hoped that they could understand with their sales capital as street traders selling burgers.
The same situation applies to a couple of burger sellers in Mukah, Nurmiraziana Khirman and her husband Azraie Al-Amin Asa Ari who still maintain their burger sale at old prices.
“We really hope that there will be no drastic increase in the price of goods, because we want to maintain our selling price so that customers could afford to remain loyal to our burger stall.
“For us burger traders, it is a bit confusing when it is difficult to get a supply of chicken eggs.
“Not everyone can afford a burger that costs more than RM2.
“I am trying my best to obtain supply of eggs from retail shops in Mukah; hopefully getting to purchase as much as possible, especially up to four sets,” she explained.
It is a real challenging time for them in trying to get enough chicken eggs to sustain their trade. They need to look around for enough egg supply as their burger stall needs between six and seven sets of chicken eggs daily during normal day sale. Without enough eggs, their burger business operation will be suffering cut off, Nurmiraziana pointed out.
“Thanks to our tireless efforts, we are both very grateful. In a day, we can now produce 200 to 270 burgers for customers.
“We usually make this egg -based burger according to customer’s demand as some people want two or three eggs in their burger,” she shared.
As the owner of Rai Burger Mukah, the couple hoped that the situation of shortage and limited supply of eggs would return to normal soon.
“To our customers, continue to support our small business. We will improve in whatever we’re lacking of, and what we’re receiving is our gain for our customers.
“That is our principle in doing business to provide sustenance and extraordinary enthusiasm for us to do business.
“To the government, we hope that the price of these eggs can be maintained, controlled and the price set in accordance with the existing grade of eggs,” she added.
For their act of not increasing their burger prices, the two couples are worth emulating.
In fact, their actions continue to make street burgers as tasty and affordable food and at the same time keeping its original creation that has its own value.
Even we as consumers also need to better understand how the chain of reasons for the rise in prices of food items is influenced by various global factors such as the COVID-19 effect and the issue of global climate change.
The issue of global climate change also indirectly affects global food security and the closely linked food chain.