Among the places and industries hit hard by this year's looming shortage of fuel for Europe are France's boulangeries, the bakeries that turn out the bread and rolls that are an important part of the country's food.
And it will do no good to say "Let them eat cake!" won't help either, because that's also affected by the same rise in ingredients that's hurting the bread bakers, one of whom told France Bleu that “The price of eggs has increased because of bird flu, almonds have increased too, butter has gone up almost 30 percent. Flour is more expensive because of the war in Ukraine – the same for sugar, paper and cardboard packaging too. But the icing on the cake is energy: my monthly bill of €3,200 including VAT jumped to almost €16,000 at the end of the year."
A number of bakeries have closed, while others try to stay afloat by cutting hours, working at night when energy costs are lower.
The French government has a variety of aid programs in place for small businesses, and is planning some boulangerie-specific relief in the coming year, including deferring some taxes, but it's not yet clear if it will be enough or come soon enough.x`