Butter shortfall sees France face a croissant crisis
Some supermarket shelves in France are sitting empty and the price of croissants on the rise, creating a headache for the government just as it tries to make the food chain fairer for farmers.
Soaring prices in France come as butter makes a resurgence among consumers, but production of butter has not increased to the same extent.
For French consumers, where butter makes up about a quarter of a croissant's ingredients, they price is being passed back onto them, or in some cases they have not been able to source their daily pastries.
Irish butter production is running 12pc ahead of last year, according to CSO figures and Ornua CEO Kevin Lane said recently that butter prices have reached an all-time high in recent months with prices of €7,000/t being recorded, and said prices should start to level off shortly.
"We have a view that butter has peaked. It's typical in normal years that butter is at its highest as we get in to the very important Thanksgiving and Christmas buying period. It's typically done through September and October," he said.
However, others disagree and say butter prices are not yet at their peak in Europe and with Ireland is a significant exporter of butter in Europe, in value terms, demand from Europe could see increased amounts of Irish butter exports. However, Irish butter lags significantly behind its European counterparts in price - €200/t behind the EU average.
Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Danish-based dairy co-operative Arla Foods, said world milk stocks are very low and that there has been a scarcity of milk in the whole world after the very low prices last year.
“There is a big lack of fat, cream and butter products everywhere in Europe. It will not at all be possible to meet demand up to Christmas. It is those forces that are dragging up the prices significantly,” Tuborgh said.