The planet has been experiencing a shortage of wheat for several months, the price of which continues to climb. For Boulangerie St-Méthode, which makes its bread only from certified GMO-free Quebec wheat, this quest for cereal and other basic ingredients has become the number one issue.
“In the past, there have been shortages, but we have never had such difficulty securing a supply,” said Benoît Faucher, president. The price of wheat has more than doubled, and that of vegetable oil has increased by 40% to 70%. And it is no longer just a question of price, but of knowing if we will be able to find it. »
In the supermarket, the price of almost all foods has risen sharply over the past year. Some of the increased costs are necessarily passed on to the consumer.
These stock-outs began long before Russia invaded Ukraine. Already last autumn, the supply was difficult due to poor harvests due to climate change and droughts.
In Quebec, one in four sliced bread comes from Boulangerie St-Méthode, but one in two grain bread is, according to the company.
For now, the bakery, which has been around for 75 years and has stood out from the competition with its distinctive products such as nine grain, quinoa or whole oat bread, does not intend to change these characteristics. . Instead, it tries to convince Quebec farmers to grow more wheat and other grains needed for its operations.
“We are sending a cry from the heart to Quebec farmers, says Benoît Faucher. We’ve been using only Quebec wheat for 10 years and we want it to continue. We have taken steps with the cooperatives, but the results are not yet there. It is a long term job. There are no outages yet, but we have higher operating costs. Previously, we had a part-time purchasing person. Now we have two full-time employees to secure our supplies. »
In addition, in terms of supplies, flour cannot be stored more than two days in advance.
According to the president, the situation of scarcity of basic ingredients is not close to being resolved. “It is expected to last at least another two, possibly three years. »
“Our innovations and new products that we develop over the long term, such as our malted barley Grand-Mère bread that we developed over the long term with a malthouse, are the key to our success. We develop tastes that did not exist in the past. It’s another way to make sliced bread,” said Benoît Faucher, president of Boulangerie St-Méthode.