In the context of an impending winter without gas being sourced from Russia, the French Federation of Bakery and Pastry Companies (FEB) and the National Association of Food Industries (ANIA – L’Association Nationale des Industries Alimentaires) issued a joint statement expressing their alarm over the availability and soaring prices of energy.
“ANIA calls on the public authorities to take into account the strategic and priority nature of the activities of the agri-food sector in the implementation of energy measures,” the organization urges, noting that food companies are very worried about maintaining production. The energy problem further weakens the agri-food sector in France, in addition to the need for fair remuneration for farmers and distributor price volatility.
In its ‘Energy Sobriety Plan’, the government is asking companies to save energy – to which food manufacturers are committed: energy consumption has already been lowered by 10% in the last 10 years. ANIA reminds in the letter that gas and electricity are essential for “manufacturing processes, food safety and the processing and preservation of living and perishable raw materials.” A halt or slowdown in industrial energy consumption would lead to significant food waste.
Soaring energy costs are another stringent concern, with an energy price 20 times higher for gas and 10 times higher for electricity than before the current energy crisis. According to an ANIA survey, energy price increases have a very strong impact on business turnover, which goes from 3% in 2020 and 2021 to more than 5% in 2022 and would lead to companies postponing investments, at the very least. In the mid- to long-term, manufacturing sustainability stands to be hindered.
“What to say to an SME owner that paid EUR 2.5 million for energy in 2021, is paying EUR 6.5 million in 2022 and will pay… EUR 14 million in 2023? What answers to give him? Today, we don’t have any…” stressed Jean-Philippe André, ANIA president.
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