French crois­sant at risk from spi­ralling but­ter prices

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste -

COULD the very ex­is­tence of crois­sants in France be in dan­ger? Bak­ers warned last week that a ver­tig­i­nous rise in the price of but­ter was slash­ing their profit mar­gins and threat­en­ing an en­tire in­dus­try.

The price of but­ter, which makes up a quar­ter of the in­gre­di­ents of many French pas­tries, rock­eted 92% in the year to May, ac­cord­ing to Fa­bien Cas­tanier, the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the fed­er­a­tion of French bis­cuit and cake­mak­ers.

The rise was putting “un­sus­tain­able eco­nomic pres­sure” on the in­dus­try, he said. “Based on the cur­rent price, the ex­tra

€68mil charge an­nu­ally is around (RM327mil) for mak­ers of bis­cuits and cakes,” he said. “Un­for­tu­nately, the sit­u­a­tion is go­ing to get worse in the next few weeks with a strong risk of but­ter run­ning out.”

Matthieu Labbe, a bak­ers' in­dus­try spokesman, said: “There is a real threat of but­ter short­ages by the end of the year which could lead to panic on mar­kets.”

The in­dus­try bod­ies are call­ing on re­spon­si­ble be­hav­iour from su­per­mar­kets and cafes and restau­rants to pass on the rise in the price of but­ter in the prices they charge shop­pers, to avoid ad­di­tional suf­fer­ing for pro­duc­ers.

The con­se­quence would be that “the price the con­sumer pays for crois­sants, tarts and brioches is go­ing to rise sig­nif­i­cantly very quickly”.

The rise in the price of but­ter is blamed on fall­ing milk yields in Europe, and es­pe­cially in France, cou­pled with ris­ing de­mand both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

At the same time, French farm­ers com­plain that they are re­ceiv­ing less for their milk than it costs to pro­duce be­cause Europe has a glut of 350,000 tonnes of pow­dered milk, which is de­press­ing prices. – AFP Re­laxnews

But­tery crois­sants.

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