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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Even the humble baguette is becoming more expensive at a Paris market

The price of the fragrant Valencia clementines he sells to throngs of shoppers at the Marché d’Aligre, a bustling open-air food and antiques market in the Bastille district of central Paris, was reluctantly raised by Mohamed Sharif, who grabbed a piece of chalk and reluctantly marked it up on the board.

Because of the rise in gasoline prices since the fall, he claims that transportation costs for produce imported into France have more than doubled since then. This is one of several factors that have increased wholesale costs for oranges from Spain, lychee from south China, and passion fruit from Vietnam — as well as the prices he must charge at his fruit stand.

When asked why customers were being asked to pay more for what they bought, Mr. Sharif said that they didn’t understand why they were being asked to spend 1.90 euros (about $2.15) for a pound of clementines, up from 80 cents ($0.90) a week earlier. “People are purchasing fewer items because prices are rising.”

Prices for meat atEven the humble baguette is becoming more expensive at a Paris market. a neighbouring butcher have increased by 10% since the beginning of the summer. The price of certain French cheeses is anticipated to jump by as much as 20% in the next year. According to bakeries, even the classic baguette, which is a mainstay of the French diet, will become more costly.

As rising energy costs, labour shortages, and supply-chain bottlenecks caused by the end of pandemic lockdowns make their way through ordinary life, inflation, which has been largely quiet in Europe for over a decade, is beginning to make its presence known in the region.

The eurozone’s enterprises, industries, and trade are feeling the effects of a record annual increase in prices, which reached 4.9 percent in the past month. People attempting to put food on the table, on the other hand, are starting to feel the pinch.

It had previously been stated that the surge would only be transitory by the European Central Bank (ECB). However, the bank was forced to raise its inflation projection for 2022 from 1.7 percent in September to 3.2 percent last week, citing indicators that increasing prices would not be as transitory as previously anticipated.

That isn’t surprising to regulars at the Marché d’Aligre, Paris’s oldest food market, which was established in 1779. Attracted by low-income families, middle-class families, and wealthy foodies who come for fresh vegetables, cheese, spices, and bargains at the flea market, the market has been animated by generations of traders and serves as a microcosm of the city itself.

According to Rémy Costaz, whose family has had a greengrocer stand since 1905, the outdoor fruit and vegetable vendors are recognised as the least costly in Paris, and they work hard to keep costs for staples like tomatoes and potatoes as low as possible no matter what the economic condition is like.

However, the cost of a broad range of items, from pork to passion fruit, has risen in tandem with the inflationary upsurge in recent years. The effect is already being felt among the market’s stallholders and low-income consumers alike. Many people are bracing themselves for the worse.

In order to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, Simone Ginestet, a retiree living on a limited income, took a 45-minute train ride from her flat near Versailles. The price of apples in her middle-class area had risen to €6.50 per kilo, while the price of pears had reached €7 per kilo, an increase of 10 to 20 percent in only two months, she claimed.

People with wheeled shopping bags flocked around La Petite Affaire, a minimart that offers dairy goods, cold meats, and other things that are close to expiring for less than half the amount they would pay at the market’s southern end, where cheap food vendors abound.

He lifted his bag to show his purchases, which included orange juice, yoghurt, and other staples for a total of €15. Hicham El Aoual is 27 years old. He claimed he now avoids large French stores since the pricing for the same basket of items are roughly twice as expensive as in the United States.

Emile Nataf surveyed a throng of shoppers at the Marche d’Aligre flea market, where buyers rummaged for cheap vintage clothing and curios. His one-euro table was strewn with mismatched glasses, dinner plates, and other trinkets that he collects by cleaning out people’s storage rooms, and he charged them one euro each.

David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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