Rising fuel prices have forced Scottish craft bakery Tower Bakery to make one of its bakers redundant for the first time in its 30-year history.

While some firms have been forced to raise prices, the Perth-based chain said the fuel tax rise had meant it had also put some production staff on a four-day week.

Owner Angela McKinnon said: “We’ve never known such hard times. January and February are usually quiet, but we’ve always been able to maintain people’s hours. We’ve just been forced to do it this year, but will hopefully reinstate them to a five-day week by April.”

The 15-store chain has 10 vans, which deliver to many rural stores around Scotland. Said McKinnon: “We run a seven-days-a-week service, but if fuel prices keep rising we’ll have to think about running a service for our wholesale customers every other day.”

She added that because ingredients costs were going up, it would not be long before prices followed suit.

>>Increase in fuel prices hits the baking industry