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CAOBISCO urges EU to address energy crisis

CAOBISCO, the Association of the Chocolate, Biscuits & Confectionery Industries of Europe pointed out the impact the current energy crisis has on the sectors’ manufacturers and their ability to operate viably. “Like the whole EU food and drink industry, our sector has been facing a sharp increase in costs for energy, raw materials, packaging materials and transport. We therefore fully support the joint press release by Copa-Cogeca, FoodDrinkEurope and Primary Food Processors (PFP) on the alarming effects and consequences of the energy crisis,” the Association stated.

CAOBISCO joins the call of FoodDrinkEurope to the Commission to support the Member States to intervene in bringing energy prices down and increasing liquidity in energy markets, diversifying energy supply, boosting sustainable energy generation, and supporting the competitiveness of operators. More EU oversight of Member States gas rationing plans is also needed, the association weighs in, to ensure they prioritize the agri-food sector. “Our industry depends on reliable energy supplies for processes like roasting, baking or cooking,” CAOBISCO commented.

The association represents more than 12,000 companies, 99% of which are SMEs and also larger and multinational companies operating all over Europe. They employ over 225,000 people in the European Union, with an annual production of 14.7 million tons of chocolate, biscuits and confectionery, corresponding to a value of EUR 42.9 million in 2020

“Our members are growing concerned that they will be unable to absorb or pass on the extreme price increases for energy. As highlighted by FoodDrinkEurope, the latest increases in energy prices, especially natural gas and electricity, threaten the continuity of our production cycles and therefore, the capability to continue delivering our products to our consumers. The increase in energy prices has also caused a drastic increase in the price of our logistics (transport) and availability of packaging material.

On top of the energy crisis, the costs of essential raw materials have also seen an increase, for example, in sugar. The availability of essential commodities like sugar, dextrose, glucose or isoglucose is putting our factories at risk. CAOBISCO stresses that SMEs are especially vulnerable to these challenges and are faced with pausing or reducing production over the winter.

Photo credit: Lisa Fotios (Pexels)