Mon, Oct 23, 2017 - Page 14 News List

French face butter shortage

AP, PARIS

French pastries and butter have become so popular abroad that the increased demand has led to a mini-shortage of the dairy product in French supermarkets.

The price of butter rose 60 percent in a year, reaching 6.70 euro (US$7.90) per kilogram in August, according to official data.

The increase has created problems for pastry exporters in France and fears of a shortage of Christmas delicacies such as the traditional Yule Log dessert.

French regions such as Brittany and Normandy have reportedly been hit hardest by the butter shortage, which is also linked to a drop in the European milk supply.

French National Federation of Dairy Cooperatives president Dominique Charge told French radio RTL that butter is “more and more in demand in emerging economies like China and the Middle East.”

Claude Margerin Francois, who runs a small company specialized in pastry dough in central France, told reporters she has not been able to fulfill orders from Lebanon, China and Vietnam because of the shortage.

“I’m looking for butter everywhere,” she said.

Margerin Francois, who has been buying her top-shelf labeled Poitou-Charentes butter from a local producer for 15 years, said she had to furlough eight employees because of the shortage.

She could have opted for a cheaper butter made abroad, but was not convinced by the quality, she added.

“Just by smelling it I could tell it was not good enough,” she said.

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