France Is In A Full-Blown Crisis Because They've Run Out Of Butter For Baking Croissants

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Bloomberg- Finding butter for the breakfast staple has become a challenge across France. Soaring global demand and falling supplies have boosted butter prices, and with French supermarkets unwilling to pay more for the dairy product, producers are taking their wares across the border. That has left the French, the world’s biggest per-capita consumers of butter, short of a key ingredient for their sauces and tarts.

“The issue is purely French and is related to the fact that there’s a price war raging between French retailers,” Thierry Roquefeuil, chairman of the milk-producers’ federation FNPL, said in a phone interview from his farm near Figeac, in Southwestern France. “French retailers refuse to increase prices, even by few cents, even for butter. Dairy producers see that there’s an outside demand at higher prices so they sell abroad, and rightfully so.”

“I want to reassure all the consumers that soon butter will find its way back to shop shelves and consumers won’t be deprived of this French commodity that does honor to French tables and is the pride of French dairy production,” Travert said in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

The shortage in France has been compounded by a panicked rush by consumers to stock up in the past few weeks. The food retail group has said any butter shortage will be short-lived.

Horrifying news out of France today. It appears the croissant industry is in serious jeopardy due to a butter shortage. You’re probably thinking, wow, a butter shortage–that must be because the cows aren’t pumping out as much milk. Or maybe the machines that churn milk into butter have broken down. Or maybe France is enduring a heat wave and the butter keeps melting before people can get it to their fridge. Or maybe everyone switched to margarine so as to lower cholestrol!

If you thought any of the above, you’re ignoring France’s eternal commitment to thumbing their noses at capitalism. The butter shortage is happening because the price of butter has risen, and French retailers refuse to acknowledge the laws of supply and demand. These arrogant, stubborn, ignoble market-owners are telling butter sellers to suck their butts when they ask for higher prices. And given the demand for butter in places like every other country in the world, the dairy farmers said bon voyage and took their business elsewhere. It’s almost like a Mexican standoff, except that one of the parties just walked away.

Those French, man. Europe is reeling from an influx of immigrants from war-torn countries in Africa and Syria; the Eurozone is struggling to deal with Brexit and now Catalan calling for Independence. Real issues abound, yet France continues its self-imposed exile on an island of insignificant worries. It’s like the entire country is playing out one long episode of Seinfeld.

Having said that, if you’ve never had a fresh butter croissant from a local patisserie on a summer morning in Provence, you haven’t lived.