CAOBISCO joins EU-wide call for government action on energy prices

CAOBISCO, the Association of the Chocolate, Biscuits & Confectionery Industries of Europe, has called on governments across the continent to reduce energy prices to avert a major crisis across the industry, reports Neill Barston.

As the organisation, which represents a total of 12,000 sector businesses noted, these spiralling commercial costs (increasing rates of gas in particular in Germany set to rise 750%) threatening the viability of many small and medium enterprises in the industry.

In addition, the addition, the sector is also facing major increases in, raw materials, packaging materials and transport/logistics that are having a significant impact. Consequently, CAOBISCO said it fully supports the call by Copa-Cogeca, FoodDrinkEurope and Primary Food Processors (PFP) for urgent governmental action on the alarming effects and consequences of the energy crisis.

Therefore, in their combined view, authorities should consider diversify energy supplies, boost sustainable energy generation, and support the competitiveness of operators, to enable industry to survive key challenges – especially given the sector’s reliance on energy as a primary part of its manufacturing operations.

Furthermore, according to CAOBISCO, additional EU oversight of Member States gas rationing plans is also needed, to make sure they prioritise the agri-food sector. In addition, a further revision of the Temporary Crisis Framework is urgent, to ensure that it can be used by Member States and businesses.

As the trade body has noted, prices for gas and electricity have continued to increase, reaching historically high levels. In light of the current international context and the different sanctions packages against Russia put in place by the European Union, this is likely to remain the case for the near future. Our industry depends on reliable energy supplies for processes like roasting, baking or cooking.

CAOBISCO’s membership of more than 12,000 companies consists of 99% of which are SMEs and also larger and multinational companies operating all over Europe. Together,it directly employs over 225,000 people in the European Union.

With an annual production of 14.7 million tons of chocolate, biscuits and confectionery, corresponding to a value of € 42.9 million in 2020. Our industry is amongst Europe’s most dynamic and largest manufacturing and exporting sectors, contributing strongly to local communities’ vitality and to the European economy in general.

On top of the energy crisis, the costs of our essential raw materials have also seen an increase, for example sugar. The tense commodity supplies situation is reflected in exceptionally high prices on the spot market. Availability of essential commodities like sugar, dextrose, glucose or isoglucose is putting our factories at risk.”

As a consequences of these challenges, the organisation added that it feared its companies and especially many SME’s might soon face the difficult choice of whether or not to temporarily halt or reduce production this winter.

The strong interconnectedness along the value chain with other industries (packaging, raw materials, essential spare parts) requires that the entire agri-food supply chain should be prioritised on the access to energy and stable prices. 

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