Bread prices to rise 20% in wake of poor global harvest

The price of bread is set to rise in 2013 as millers, bakers, and retailers feel the knock-on effect of poor global wheat harvests.

One of the largest wheat millers in the country, Valeo Foods, which owns flour brand Odlums, confirmed that wheat prices would continue to rise next year.

“Wheat prices have increased due to the drought in the US and wet weather in Europe,” said a Valeo spokesperson.

“The higher wheat prices have resulted in a higher price on flour.”

Valeo is being forced to raise prices due to a global wheat harvest which has seen production has fall by 21m tonnes since August.

A prominent Cork baker, who did not want to be named, said wheat prices have already risen by 20% in Ireland this year and that another increase was coming in the near future.

From Jan 1 in the UK, €63 per tonne will be added to the cost of flour.

The Cork baker said any increase in the cost of price of flour would lead to consumers paying more at the checkout.

“It will lead to higher prices. It is one of the primary ingredients, so as the cost to make a loaf of bread will go up,” said the baker.

“Most bakeries are looking for a price increase from the retailers. Everybody is trying to cut their costs but there is only so much that you can do.”

The baker said he exp-ected the price of flour in Ireland to rise another 20%, meaning that, in the less than 12 months, the cost of flour will have risen 40%.

Retail group Musgraves, which owns Supervalu, said increased flour costs have already pushed up the price of baked goods, and that bakers were looking for further increases.

“Given the level of commodity cost issues over the last number of months, we have already seen some cost increases in the bakery sector and we expect suppliers to look for further incr-eases,” said a spokesperson.

“Musgrave is committed to minimising these incr-eases for consumers so that they continue to receive value across all ranges.”

It is expected the price of bread will rise in line with the cost of production.


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