France faces butter shortage amid global demand for pastries

Baker Thierry Kubowicz cuts a part from a 25 kg piece of butter in a bakery in Versailles, west of Paris, France, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017. French pastries, and butter, have become so popular abroad that the increased demand led to a mini shortage of the dairy product in French supermarkets. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — Blame the croissant.

French pastries and butter have become so popular abroad that the increased demand led to a mini-shortage of the dairy product in French supermarkets.

The price of butter rose 60 percent in a year, reaching 6.7 euros ($7.9) per kilogram in August, according to official data. The increase has created problems for pastry exporters in France and fears of a shortage of Christmas delicacies such as the traditional Yule Log dessert.

French regions like Brittany and Normandy have reportedly been hit hardest by the butter shortage, which is also linked to a drop in Europe’s milk supply.

Dominique Charge, the head of the national cooperative of dairy products, told French radio RTL that butter is “more and more in demand in emerging economies like China and the Middle East.”

Claude Margerin Francois, who runs a small company specialized in pastry dough in central France, told The Associated Press she has not been able to fulfill orders from Lebanon, China and Vietnam because of the shortage.

“I’m looking for butter everywhere,” she said.

Margerin Francois, who has been buying her top-shelf labeled Poitou-Charentes butter from a local producer for 15 years, said she had to furlough eight employees because of the shortage.

She added that she could have opted for a cheaper butter made abroad but was not convinced by the quality. “Just by smelling it I could tell it was not good enough.”