Bakers demonstrate against rising prices

Bakers demonstrate against rising prices

French bakers are mobilizing this Monday, January 23 against inflation and the sudden increase in energy prices, at the call of the Collective for the Survival of Bakers and Artisans.

Anger has been simmering in the industry for several months. At the call of the Collective for the Survival of Bakers and Crafts, French bakers are mobilizing in Paris this Monday, January 23 against inflation and the surge in energy prices.

The procession, convened at 2 p.m. on the Place de la Nation, was to disperse at 5 p.m. on the Place du Bataillon du Pacifique. On his route he has to cross Avenue du Trône, Place de l’île de la Réunion, Boulevard de Picpus, Boulevard de Reuilly and Boulevard de Bercy.

At the end of October, a hundred artisan bakeries had already taken part in a dead day, refusing to open their doors to denounce inflated energy prices. Another profession affected by this problem, the butchers and butchers, also demonstrated in front of the National Assembly on November 29.

Bakers suffer from energy costs

The 33,000 bakers spread across France have been hit hard by inflation and the massive increase in energy prices. Anger has been brewing in the profession and more broadly throughout French craftsmanship in recent months. For example, a bakery in Feucherolles (Yvelines) will reduce its monthly electricity bill from 3,000 to 30,000 euros as of March 2023 as a result of the contract extension with EDF.

This increasingly precarious economic situation is forcing many companies to lay off workers in order to survive. To illustrate this trend, a boss of three bakeries in Longperrier (Seine-et-Marne) has had to lay off four employees in recent weeks to avoid going out of business.

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State aid considered insufficient

The state has taken targeted measures to support French craftsmen. In early January, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced that bakers could cancel their energy contracts free of charge in the event of an unaffordable price increase. He announced that small businesses can benefit from social security and tax deferrals to preserve liquidity, as well as staggered payment of their bills.

The government has also asked energy suppliers to show more clearly on their customers’ bills the rebates they receive under the “electricity buffer”. This measure, implemented last autumn, consists of the state paying part of the craftsmen’s energy costs.

Finally, the government has set up helpdesks to help bakers pay gas and electricity bills. A total of 12 billion euros has been made available by the state to support SMEs in the face of inflation and the energy crisis.

However, the many measures taken by the executive were considered insufficient by some artisans of France. “Today these shovels are bandages, not to save the soldier, but to give him hope that he will be saved,” Sahad Zerzour, master baker, told CNEWS.