‘Price of bread will go up due to Brexit’

Bread prices will be forced up because of Brexit, according to the Irish Bakery Association.

In a statement issued today, Thursday January 28, the association warned that the increases will come in, “despite the best efforts of the industry”.

They said that only 40% of the flour used in Irish bread making is produced on the island of Ireland – the UK and the EU provide the rest of bread making flour used here.

The statement read: “To add fuel to the Brexit fire, the UK suffered the worst harvest in 40 years last year.

“Irish flour importers are finding that substitution options are limited in Europe, because Irish consumers prefer to eat a type of bread they’re used to, made with the flour they’re used to.

“The flours produced on the continent are best suited to their style of baguettes and bagels and less so to our slice pans and traditional Irish breads.

“Ireland also lacks production of yeast or sugar, and produces very little vegetable oil for bakery use.

“The industry is seeing price hikes on all these ingredients. As the cost of inputs go up, the cost of bakery production must follow to maintain the industry’s viability.”

Gerald Cunningham, secretary of the IBA, said: “Prudent stock-piling of flour before Christmas has kept prices flat to date, and we also researched alternative sources of flour.

“But the MATIF (Flour price index) is currently at a record high causing the market to be volatile. It is important for the market to know what is happening, and that without external interventions, price rises are inevitable.”