The price of a loaf of bread looks set to go up by at least 10p this autumn, according to Anthony Kindred, director, National Association of Master Bakers.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme yesterday morning, Kindred said it was likely his business, Kindred Bakery, would be putting up its prices this autumn for the second year running, due to the effects of the dry weather on this year’s wheat yields.
Presenter Sarah Swadling told listeners: “We’ve already heard predictions on Farming Today that, in some parts of East Anglia, the wheat harvest could be halved. The crop is also expected to be down in Europe.”
Kindred explained that bakers like wheat with a nice high gluten content, which is reliant on having a good summer with a damp spring. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to get it that way round this year,” he said.
He added that a compromise on the quality of flour used in products would be bakers’ last resort, so they would have to pay the premium to get the best quality flour.
“I think around September, October time we’ll see a big increase in bread prices for the second year in a row,” said Kindred. “Last year the flour increase cost bakers around 5p per loaf, and with other pressures such as fuel costs, and sugar, we actually put 10p on the price of our loaves.”
When asked by Swadling if the price will go up by around the same amount this year, Kindred said: “At least the same, I believe. There aren’t the margins that we used to get on bread, so I think we’ll have to pass the price increases straight on to the consumer.”