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Thread: Bread Prices

  1. #1
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Bread Prices

    This is not good. Bread and pasta are basic staples. Bakery items are too! Not to mention what restaurants are going to charge for sandwiches, pizza, pasta. I guess there'll be no free garlic sticks at Red Lobster any more. No free bun baskets.

    What's the price where you are? I'm going shopping tomorrow so I'll see what it's like.

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    Wheat shortage sends bread, pasta prices soaring
    Soaring wheat prices have Canadian bakeries struggling, farmers rejoicing and customers digging deeper at the till to pay for their bread and pasta purchases.

    The price of flour has been climbing steadily over the last year.

    The price of flour has doubled in the past two months as weather problems, including two years of droughts in Australia, have depleted wheat stocks to lows not seen since the 1970s.

    Also contributing to the shortage is the flux of grain farmers switching to other crops, such as canola or corn, that produce biofuels.

    "It's a very, very tight situation," said Canadian Wheat Board analyst Bruce Burnett. "World production has been under consumption in the last couple of years, so we have been drawing stocks down … and we've finally hit levels that have made the market very, very concerned about supplies and rightly so."

    Burnett said the prices are likely to remain high for at least another 18 months, as it could take up to three years of strong harvests to rebuild the worldwide stocks.

    Bakers rising prices
    The pricing crunch is affecting bakeries, and their customers, across the country. In Winnipeg, KUB Bakery said its prices need to go up to help cover the rising costs.

    "We're not going to gouge anyone, we're going to take what we need to stay afloat. Bread is going to have to go up, any product with wheat in it will go up, that's a certainty," Ross Einfeld, the bakery's manager, told CBC News.

    "I'm sure all bakeries across the board have the same problem. Their flour price has doubled, their ingredient price has doubled. So you're going to see prices increase."

    Calabria Bakery, in Scarborough, Ont., is also finding rising flour prices a challenge.

    The bakery's Sam Cuzzolino said they use roughly 15 tonnes of flour a month for bread and pizza dough and "as far as the bread side goes, if we're breaking even I'd be amazed at this point."

    He said if the profits in the 50-year-old business continue to decline, he'll have to consider stopping baking bread altogether.

    Mount Pearl, N.L., bakery manager Tom Bennett said bakeries can only swallow flour increases for so long.

    "It's such a labour intensive thing and really, when you see the cost going up …to pass it on to the customer, it's a very big increase for them to swallow," he said, adding that his customers would be upset if he raised his prices from $1.75 to $2.50 a loaf to help cover the costs.

    The rising costs are also shrinking the bottom line at Coleman's grocery store in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland.

    "From what we were paying a year ago to what we're paying now, it's actually phenomenal," said Tom Bennett, bakery manager.

    "You wouldn't really think all these different things going on would affect the price of flour here in Mount Pearl, but it has."

    Soaring prices have farmers 'optimistic'
    While bakeries are struggling, the high prices are encouraging for farmers.

    Doug Chorney, a wheat farmer near Winnipeg and a member of farmers' group Keystone Agricultural Producers, says he and his colleagues are "very optimistic."

    "These are the best prices for wheat we've seen in many farming careers, perhaps ever. Everyone is optimistic this is going to be a good year, providing we can produce the crop that hasn't grown yet," he said.

    Chorney, who said he has already decided to plant more wheat this year, also said the expected profits may help keep some farmers in the industry.

    It "may encourage some young farmers to stay on the land and take up farming as a career," he said.


    Wheat shortage sends bread, pasta prices soaring
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

  2. #2
    MRD
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    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    Re: Bread Prices

    I pay a lot for bread because I have to buy the gluten free variety. I guess that the flour shortage isn't going to affect the bread I buy as its not made from wheat? I hope anyway, its $$$ enough as it is. But I do buy regular bread for the family.
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  3. #3
    Resident curmudgeon Newfherder's Avatar
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    Re: Bread Prices

    I'm hopeful that the increase is temporary (just like the temporary insanity that I'll plead for ever thinking prices will go down.) Wheat harvests were very bad last year in Kansas--in my county, 70% of the crop was left in the field because of frequent rains during harvest. The farmer that bales my hay was lucky; he got almost all of his wheat cut between storms.
    "The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination."
    --Marion Zimmer Bradley

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    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: Bread Prices

    I don't mind paying more for our bread if it keeps the farmers in business. It really saddens me when I hear of the independent farmer losing their shirt, their tractor and their land due to the vagaries of food pricing.
    All I wanted was a 45, a stinking 45 - the record or the gun. I'd even settle for the damn malt liquor. - Al Bundy.

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey misskitty's Avatar
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    Re: Bread Prices

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus;2806584;
    I don't mind paying more for our bread if it keeps the farmers in business. It really saddens me when I hear of the independent farmer losing their shirt, their tractor and their land due to the vagaries of food pricing.
    I agree. Unfortunately, I've heard that some farmers had switched from farming wheat for other crops. Maybe now they can change back. How can we possibly run out of grain on the prairies?
    Live simply ~ Love generously~ Care deeply~ Speak kindly

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