Baguette prices rise in France after poor wheat harvest

A worldwide increase in wheat prices after bad harvests in Russia is forcing French bakers to raise the price of that staple of life in France - the baguette.

Baguette prices are rising in France
Baguette prices are rising in France. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP

Boulangeries around France have begun putting up signs warning their customers of an increase in the price of their favourite bread due to rising costs.

A terrible harvest in Russia and Ukraine, which produce a large portion of the world’s wheat, has pushed up prices while French boulangeries are also affected by the rise in gas prices.

As a result, many bakers have told French media they have been forced to increase the price of a baguette, usually by around 10 cents, while others have kept baguette prices low but increased the costs of their other breads to cover their own costs.

READ ALSO Baguettiquete: Weird things the French do with bread

According to Dominique Anract, president of the Confédération nationale de la boulangerie-pâtisserie française, the average price of a baguette today is 89c, a price that has risen just 23c in the last 20 years.

The majority of boulangeries still offer baguettes for €1 or less, while many also offer a ‘tradition’ – a baguette baked to the traditional recipe of just four ingredients – for around 10c more than the price of a standard baguette.

Anract said: “The world price of wheat has risen. Almost all millers have passed on this increase in the price of flour since the end of the summer. And for the last bakers who still benefit from set rates, the contracts will be reviewed at the end of the year.”

To say baguettes are popular in France is a wild understatement – the French eat 10 billion of them per year, or one every 320 seconds.

Pretty much every meal in a French restaurant or café comes with an accompanying basket of sliced baguette (even pizza) and munching the top off a still-warm baguette is pretty much the only socially acceptable street snack in France.

The French culture ministry has even submitted an application to UNESCO to give the baguette world heritage status, a decision is expected next year.

READ ALSO What you need to know about the French baguette

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What second-home owners need to know about 2023 French property taxes

Autumn in France is property tax season - and for second-home owners there are some important changes to know about this year.

What second-home owners need to know about 2023 French property taxes

Every year in September and October, households in France receive their property tax bills – which have historically included three things; taxe foncière, taxe d’habitation and the redevance audiovisuelle (TV licence).

For main properties, two of these taxes have all-but disappeared, but for second home-owners the situation is a little different.

Taxe d’habitation

This is the tax paid by the householder and it is being gradually phased out in France and most households no longer need to pay it – the exception to this, however, is maisons sécondaire (second homes).

Local councils set the rate for this tax, and in some areas this can include an additional surcharge on taxe d’habitation on second homes.

This usually applies in areas that have a housing shortage, and although the surcharge has existed for several years it has recently been expanded to include new areas.

Taxe foncière

This is the tax paid by the property owner and this remains in place, and in some areas has increased. Some local authorities, faced with the shortfall in overall taxe d’hab funds, have increased surcharges on the tax for second homes, while most local authorities are also increasing taxe foncière charges to offset the drop in revenues.

This tax is calculated based partly on the size and value of the property you own (which is why if you do any major renovations or add a swimming pool you need to tell the tax office) and partly on the tax level decided by your local authority. 

This means that the actual rate varies quite widely between different parts of France, but in some areas it has gone up by 20 percent.

Redevance audiovisuelle

This is the TV licence and this has been scrapped this year – including for second homes – so your bill will no longer have the €138 per household TV charge. 

Waste collection taxes

Some communes, especially in rural areas, also charge a taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères (TEOM) or la redevance d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères (REOM) to cover rubbish collection. These are also payable in the autumn, although dates and amounts vary from commune to commune.

Renovation projects

If your property is what real estate agents refer to as an ‘opportunity for renovation’ you may be exempt from taxe d’habitation if your property is uninhabitable.

This is this is strictly defined in France as meaning a property is unfurnished, is not connected to utility services, and/or needs work costing at least 25 percent of the value of the property to make it habitable.

Other information

The amount of both taxe foncière and taxe d’habitation varies across France, but you should be informed in the sale details of the amount of the taxe foncière, and you can also request to know the amount of the taxe d’habitation when you buy a property. 

READ ALSO Why French homeowners face higher property taxes in 2023

Second homeowners are not eligible for most reductions or exemptions available on taxe foncière, with the exception of over 75s who are on low incomes. Be aware this is not automatic for second homeowners and must be specifically requested by those who are eligible.

Be aware, too, that authorities can charge an additional 10 percent for late payment without good reason – though you may get this removed if you write a polite formal letter asking for a remise gracieuse de la majoration. You can search for model letters on the internet.