France: bakeries in crisis

One month after the baguette was added to Unesco's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, French bakers are facing a serious crisis. Many bakeries have been forced to close due to rising raw material and energy prices. The press underscores the important role of the bakery in French society.

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Le Temps (CH) /

Don't cut corners

French bakeries and their wares are in a lamentable situation despite the baguette's having received UN cultural heritage status, Le Temps complains:

“While Emmanuel Macron made a big fuss about the award for the profession and French know-how at the time, the national heroes are now on the verge of bankruptcy. So what should be done? There can be no question of saving money at the expense of quality by reducing the number of loaves produced per day or replacing butter with margarine. French culture would never recover from that.”

Libération (FR) /

Bakeries must be cherished

Libération stresses the importance of bakeries and the need to protect them:

“The bakeries set the pace of our lives. ... Bakeries and their products are reassuring elements that guarantee the survival of a world of human contact, of proximity, of simple and affordable quality - in short, of everything that is in danger of disappearing. That is why we must save and cherish the bakeries.”

Le Point (FR) /

Prevent fire from spreading

The bakers' frustration with their economic situation could also spur other groups of workers to protest, Le Point warns:

“The bakers themselves pose the greatest threat to the government. They come into contact on a daily basis with millions of French people who are clinging to a business that is the only remaining place where people come together in some villages. A collective is calling for protests in Paris on 23 January. So there is an urgent need to reassure, even to embrace the bakers' objectives. ... The priority now is to put out the impending fire in the bakeries before other fires are lit among shopkeepers and craftspeople who could be the next to demand proper treatment.”