CAOBISCO urges the EU to address the energy crisis hitting the chocolate, biscuits and confectionery industries

CAOBISCO, the Association of the Chocolate, Biscuits & Confectionery Industries of Europe would like to draw attention to the impact the current energy crisis has on the sectors’ manufacturers and their ability to operate viably. Like the whole EU food and drink industry, our sector has been facing a sharp increase of costs for energy, raw materials, packaging materials and transport. We therefore fully support the joint press release by Copa-Cogeca, FoodDrinkEurope and Primary Food Processors (PFP) on the alarming effects and consequences of the energy crisis.

CAOBISCO joins the call of FoodDrinkEurope to the Commission to support Member States to intervene in bringing energy prices down and increase liquidity on energy markets, diversify energy supply, boost sustainable energy generation, and support the competitiveness of operators.More 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.

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, proudly represent more than 12,000 companies, 99% of which are SMEs and also larger and multinational companies operating all over Europe. Together, we directly employ 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.

Our members are growing concerned that they will be unable to absorb or pass on the extreme price increases for energy. As highlighted by FoodDrinkEurope, the latest increases in energy prices, especially natural gas and electricity, threaten the continuity of our production cycles and therefore, the capability to continue delivering our products to our consumers. The increase in energy prices has also caused a drastic increase in the price of our logistics (transport) and availability of packaging material.

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, we fear that our companies and especially our 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 prioritized on the access to energy and stable prices.

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