“Despite the best efforts of the industry”, bread prices will soon be hit with a price hike because of Brexit, according to the Irish Bakery Association.
The association made the stark revelation in a statement earlier today (Thursday, January 28th).
Only 40% of the flour used in Irish bread making is produced in Ireland. The UK and the EU provide the rest of bread-making flour used on the island.
In a statement regarding bread prices, a spokesperson for the association said: “To add fuel to the Brexit fire, the UK suffered the worst harvest in 40 years last year.
Limited substitution options
“Irish flour importers are finding that substitution options are limited in Europe, because Irish consumers prefer to eat a type of bread they’re used to, made with the flour they’re used to.
“The flours produced on the continent are best suited to their style of baguettes and bagels and less so to our slice pans and traditional Irish breads.”
Ireland also lacks production of yeast or sugar, and produces very little vegetable oil for bakery use.”
“The industry is seeing price hikes on all these ingredients. As the cost of inputs go up, the cost of bakery production must follow to maintain the industry’s viability.”
Gerald Cunningham, secretary of the IBA, said: “Prudent stock-piling of flour before Christmas has kept prices flat to date, and we also researched alternative sources of flour.
“But the MATIF (Flour price index) is currently at a record high causing the market to be volatile. It is important for the market to know what is happening, and that without external interventions, price rises are inevitable.”