Wednesday, October 5, 2022
HomeEconomyFamily-run Dutch bakery's bread sales can't cover energy bills

Family-run Dutch bakery's bread sales can't cover energy bills

By Charlotte Van Campenhout

HOEVELAKEN, NETHERLANDS (Reuters) – The family of Dutchman Dennis Toebast has prospered as bakers for five generations. But his energy bills have increased fivefold since the Ukraine war, casting doubt on plans to eventually hand over the business to his daughter.

As many as 1 million Dutch households are at risk of being pushed below the poverty line due to soaring gas and electricity bills, the Dutch government announced on Tuesday 24 billion euros ($248 billion) in 2023 measures to protect people Safe from the cost of living crisis.

For many family-owned businesses like Toebast’s, plans to provide financial support for the business may come too late, and if nothing changes, he may be forced to consider laying off staff at the start of the new year Painful choice.

“Our monthly income is gone,” he said, “and we’re struggling to pay our energy bills.”

Toebast’s monthly gas and electricity bills have skyrocketed from around 3 increase, 500 euro ($3, 455) last year over 24 ),600 e uros ($17,0128).

He said he would need to charge as much as 5 euros (4 dollars for a normal loaf of bread. 90 )) to pay him, but “no one wants to pay that”.

Efforts to reduce energy use, including no longer selling hot snacks after 4 p.m., and using the residual heat from the oven to bake cakes after toast, have not impacted his expenses enough, he Say.

On an average day, the bakery 40 in Hofraken, a small town in the middle of the Netherlands, where he works, sells approx. 151 loaf of bread, but some customers after the price increases by 0.24 cents to 2 stopped coming. 17 Euros per loaf.

Dutch inflation hit by 17%, mainly due to natural gas, according to Statistics Netherlands And electricity prices rose 151% year-on-year.

Toebast does not expect bills to decrease or even stabilize anytime soon. Instead, bakeries try to work as efficiently as possible. But raw material prices have also risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 24.

So is the Dutch government, Marie-Helene Zengerink, general manager of the Dutch Bakers and Pastry Bakers Association, said the response was slow, noting that neighbouring Belgium and Germany already provided a lifeline for businesses.

Dutch Economic Affairs Minister Micky Adriaansens said late Tuesday that a support package for businesses will be ready in November. “There’s hope, but something needs to happen now,” Zengerink said.

At least seven bakeries have gone bankrupt in recent weeks, she said, and several more without emergency help Thousand bakeries in

Toebast has promised his 24 staff they will have jobs at least by the end of the year . He hopes that one day his daughter Fabienne will take over the bakery, but that is no longer certain.

“I couldn’t take it for more than six months,” he said. “If that helps, some of my employees have offered to let it go. It’s definitely the last thing we want to do.”

($1=1.0128 EUR)



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