France is facing a butter shortage

It’s hard to believe, but with dropping milk production in Europe and an increased demand for butter around the world there is a shortage of butter in France.  At the same time, there has been a change in the way people perceive butter in that it is no longer being avoided by the health conscious and it is being re-incorporated into recipes.  The New York Times addressed this today in an article, “France, Land of Croissants, Finds Butter Vanishing From Shelves.”

In France alone, butter consumption increased 5 percent from 2013 to 2015, according to a recent report by an umbrella organization for France’s dairy industry, Le Cniel.

The result? Butter prices have spiked, rising to nearly $8,000 a ton in September from roughly $2,800 in April 2016.

But only France has seen shortages, because of the way its food supply chain is organized. In France, Mr. Calbrix explained, prices between suppliers and big retailers are negotiated once a year, in February.

News media is giving people instructions on how to make their own butter or find a reasonable substitution. Others are wondering if there will be any available for the holidays.  How much are the French really consuming?  Aurelien Breeden reported:

Last year, France consumed about 18 pounds of butter per capita, according to statistics from a coming report by the International Dairy Federation. That is over twice the European Union average, and more than three times the figure in the United States.

What would happen if butter ran out? This satirical short film was released recently by a group of local artists in Brittany:

A quick search of the internet turned up the following articles on a butter shortage in general:

Croissant crisis: French bakers crumbling under butter shortage  (Irish Times)

The Butter Shortage in Australia Explained  (HuffPost)

Butter prices soar as demand increases for full-fat  (The New Daily)

Is there a butter crisis in France  (BBC News)

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