France is synonymous with bread and pastries. In particular, croissant and baguette spring to mind. The latter is currently under pressure. Increasing costs are forcing many bakers to close their bakeries or raise baguette prices. Soaring energy costs and wheat supply issues caused by Ukraine War are making life financially untenable for many in baguette-making industry. One baker, Julien Pedussel, 36, expressed his fears for his livelihood. He may have to raise his baguette prices from one to four euros. He told reporters: "I cannot pay electricity bill of 12,000 euros with turnover of 20,000 euros." He is concerned that big supermarkets are still selling baguettes for less than euro.
The humble baguette is on United Nations List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Baguette prices are of such concern that France's President Macron has intervened. He recently described bread as being "250 grams of magic and perfection". France's Ministry for Economy has initiated "electricity damper". This will allow bakers to limit by how much their electricity bills rise. ministry said: "Aid for bakers has been reinforced and eligible bakeries can benefit from it." Consumers are facing tough choices. One lamented: "I won't pay three euros because it's double price. Maybe, sometimes I would because there is no equivalent to baguette." She added she might have to start baking them herself.