Why does a daily baguette in France cost so much?
The morning is getting busy at L’Artisan du Pain, an exclusive boulangerie outside of Metz, France.
Customers from surrounding offices come in for coffee and croissants, while dozens of baguettes brown nicely in the oven. The scent of freshly made bread pervades the space.
Christian Haberey, the proprietor of this family-run firm, is concerned. He claims that his costs are rising, forcing him to increase his own pricing as a result.
In normal circumstances, staffing expenditures account for nearly half of the cost of each baguette.
But, as the cost of living rises, Mr Haberey is under pressure to offer his employees higher compensation, and he can’t afford to lose qualified employees.
Energy prices are also rising in France, owing to the situation in Ukraine, which has led electricity and gas prices to rise in international markets.
Around 100 bakeries receive flour from the Moulin La Camphinoise, which is located near Lille.
During the epidemic, the mill did well as customers were dissatisfied with shop shortages and sought to buy what they needed locally.
Domestic consumers, unlike their counterparts in the United Kingdom, have been protected from the harshest effects of rising energy costs by government involvement. However, the rising cost of gasoline and diesel is a major source of anxiety.
For the time being, earnings are not keeping up with rising prices. While everyone is affected, the effects are not distributed uniformly.
With France facing a potentially tense presidential election, the rising cost of living has become a fundamentally political issue, providing fertile campaigning ground for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in particular.
President Emmanuel Macron has responded by offering to increase the maximum amount of tax-free bonuses that businesses can give their employees to help with living expenses from €1,000 to €6,000.
However, the expense of living has been a major point of contention between the two, and it will almost surely be a major concern for whoever wins the keys to the Elysee Palace in the months ahead.