Soaring energy prices have hit French bakers hard and on Monday they marched across Paris to demand more assistance from the government.
Organised by the ‘Collective for the survival of bakeries and crafts’, they are asking for a state-supported tariff shield against the increasing cost of electricity.
‘I have never demonstrated in my life. This will be the first time. What we are asking for are fixed energy tariffs. Not subsidies but a fixed tariff,’ said baker Pascal Hubert.
‘Today, I am laying off two people, my pastry chef and my salesperson, even though they also have a life, they have bills to pay, they also have a life like everyone else.
While not all bakers are in agreement with the collective about the way forward, they were all behind today’s march.
And so are many French people, saying the artisan bakers will not be heard by the government unless they demonstrate.
With more bakeries forced to close due to the energy crisis and rising cost of ingredients, there is concern about the impact this will have on the production of bread which is an integral part of any meal in France.
Last year, its world-famous baguette loaf with its crunchy crust and soft interior was added to UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage list.