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A flurry of bankruptcies for Greece’s Bakeries

Soaring energy inflation, accumulated debt, increases in raw materials and declining consumption are increasing bakeries shutdowns in Greece, with bakers not even being able to put… bread on their tables.

In the last two months, more than 50 bakeries have shut down, increasing the number of “locks” to 260 within 2022, as the president of the Federation of Bakers of Greece, Michalis Mousios, told newspaper oikonomikos taxidromos.

It is noted that at the beginning of October, the Federation of Bakers of Greece spoke of 204 bakeries which were permanently closed for financial reasons, due to retirement or due to non-successor status, while 15% of bakers (s.p. 2,160 out of a total of 14,400 bakeries that operate in the country) accumulated losses.

Energy costs “burn” bakeries

The main reason for the new suspensions of bakery operations is the operating cost that has doubled, with energy costs being the main factor.

Mousios pointed out to OT that some energy providers have not credited the retroactive energy subsidies to bakeries. And this is because, as they are told, not even they (including the providers) have collected the relevant funds from the state, in order to return them to the beneficiaries.

In fact, it is not about the “returns” of one or two months, but for the entire period from the beginning of the year until today, notes Mousios.

For each small bakery business, this amount corresponds to 5 to 8 thousand euros.

The map of closures

Since the beginning of the year, the most shut downs have been in Athens (over 75), in Thessaloniki (22-25), and in Crete (20).

At the same time, in the five months of May – November this year, more than 8 bakeries have closed in Patras. Some of them were sold and changed ownership, but most were permanently closed.

Also, Ioannina is among the areas that new shut downs were registered between October and November. In the capital of Epirus, which is considered the “bakery metropolis”, 8 bakeries have closed in the past months.

Raw materials costs are the culprit

In addition to energy costs, bakers must also manage the soaring prices of raw materials.

“It is not only flour, whose price has stabilized at high levels since last March. It is sugar that now costs 1.2-1.3 euros per kilo from 0.64 last year, the double prices of butter, the increase in sunflower oil (30 euros for 10 liters this year from 22 last year), the 60% increase in cheese and so many more”, emphasizes Mr. Mousios.

Bakery turnover at 2 billion

The citing back of expenses by a large percentage of households due to inflation, has also affected the turnover of bakeries, according to the representatives of the sector.

It is characteristic that, based on an Opinion Poll survey, for the Athens Chamber of Commerce, 83.2% of citizens have reduced the purchase of consumer products.

Since the beginning of 2022, the turnover of the 14,400 artisanal bakeries throughout Greece, which employ 80,000 direct workers and 70,000 indirect workers, has fallen by 20%, a percentage that for the whole year translates into losses of 500 million euros.

At the moment the total turnover of bakeries reaches 2 billion euros. source

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