Will Slovaks be without bread and pastries during Christmas?

After bakeries have failed to agree with retail chains upon fair prices, they are no longer willing to bake for them during holidays.

(Source: Sme)

Many bakeries are no longer willing to produce bakery products during holidays, as they have been unable to reach an agreement on prices with some foreign retail chains in Slovakia. Despite rising costs, the retail chains have refused an increase in purchase prices for baked goods and are even trying to reduce them.

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As a consequence, baking is becoming particularly unprofitable for bakeries during holidays and weekends. They are unable to force employees to come to work on such days and pay them their legal entitlements. As of this May, either new wage surcharges were introduced or existing ones were extended. Now employees receive special surcharges for working nights, holidays and weekends.

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Next week, two holidays will fall on working days. On Tuesday, October 30, Slovakia will mark the launch of the first Czechoslovakia and Thursday, November 1, is All Saints Day. Based on the recently changed legislation, shops in Slovakia will be closed on these two days.

Bakers are also concerned by an expected increase in the price of flour and other inputs. If bakers fail to mirror their costs in their prices, they may make fundamental decisions, said Tatiana Lopúchová, head of the Association of Bakers, Confectioners, and Pasta Producers, as cited by the SITA newswire.

“Several signals, which the association has received, indicate that Slovak bakers refuse to submit to the pressure from some retail chains,” said Lopúchová. “They warn that if an agreement about a price increase is not reached in a matter of weeks, bakers will halt production of bread and pastry during the Christmas holiday.”

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Read also: The most problematic change: work surcharges Read more 

The interruption of supplies will not involve Slovak retail networks clustered in the Association of Trade as these have always reached a fair agreement with bakers.

The Association of Bakers, Confectioners, and Pasta Producers cannot recall a similar situation arising over the last 10 years.

“Over the last 10 years the situation of bakers has been worsening, but bakers have never indicated such a serious decision as an interruption of supplies,” said Lopúchová.

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