France is experiencing a butter shortage which, as well as pushing up the price of croissants, is causing a political problem for the President.
Butter is in demand, milk production is in decline and President Emmanuel Macron is trying to make the food chain fairer for farmers.
This all adds up to a problem, which is beginning to filter down to the consumer.
Signs have begun to appear in supermarkets where tubs of butter once stacked up, bringing the bad news to the increasingly insatiable marketplace.
Image: Supermarket shelves in France have signs on them apologising for the lack of butter
One notice reads: “Butter shortage, indefinite duration – due to a decrease in production, an increase in global demand and a disagreement on price with big distributors.”
Bakers have been trying to cope with the soaring price of butter as it hits record highs of around €6 (£5.38) a kilo.
Baker Samir Kichou said: “Because the year-end holidays are approaching, with Christmas preparations and particularly the ‘Galette des Rois’ cake which needs a lot of butter, if there is not a significant decline, we will be forced to pass on the price rise.”
Image: Butter is being spread very thinly in France
Higher up the chain, Dominique Charge, president of France’s federation of dairy cooperatives, explained that dairy farmers feel they receive no benefit from the price hikes.
He said: “The problem is that on the French market the right signal was not given to dairy farmers, since prices were not adjusted in relation to the drop in dairy supply.”
The government has been trying to minimise the idea of a “dairy drought”, with agriculture minister Stephane Travert urging retailers and suppliers to agree on price adjustments.
The traditional croissant, both a national and international favourite, contains around 25% butter.