Australia’s baking industry is on the verge of a huge crisis as the already crippling butter supplies are getting even scarcer, pushing up the prices of popular baked goods.
Meat pies, buns, croissants, biscuits and cakes, all of your favourite delicacies will be pricier, especially during the upcoming Christmas period.
Yeah, we think now is a good time to panic.
A few factors are responsible for creating the ideal environment for butter to hit record high valuation.
In a recent phenomenon, buyers have been leaning heavily towards full cream milk consumption rather than skim milk, which in turn had affected butter production as it precisely comes from the fat that is skimmed off.
Such changes in consumer behaviour have sent ripples throughout the industry, seriously affecting milk production in the country.
Recent reports state production has dropped seven per cent in the last year alone.
“Over a year ago a 25kg box of Australian butter was $100 now it hits $240. We don’t want to see a shift away from support of local dairy farmers but we are trying the best we can to keep prices down at the till,” said Brett Noy, president of the National Bakery Industry Association.
According to him, the situation is so dire, it’s better business practice for bakeries to import their butter from France, since Aussie butter has risen a whopping 140 percent over the last two years.
If this situation continues Mr Noy says bakeries will be forced to replace butter for margarine.
“Of course we don’t want this. There will be a big impact on taste and nutritional value,” he said.
Smaller shops will be hit the hardest, in a crisis that’s expected to extend into the new year, says Dairy Australia’s industry analyst John Droppert,
“Many small businesses operate on a month-to-month basis and buy from wholesalers. They are the ones that can’t handle the squeeze,”