The cost of a loaf of bread is set to rise, Gill Brooks, chief executive of the National Association of Master Bakers, told just-food today (14 August). Increases are the consequence of rising energy costs and wheat prices, Brooks observed.

"This is not a sudden development. The US grain market has been hit by a drought, which has helped to push UK grain process up by 15% over nine-months-ago. The heat wave in Europe is scolding crops and energy prices have increased by 30% from nine-months-ago. As a result, millers have said that they are increasing their prices by GBP30 per tonne."

Bakers are likely to increase the price of a large loaf by three to four pence, Brooks suggested.

"We might not see prices go up so much in the supermarkets and large multiples, who will have known this increase is coming and been stockpiling wheat. Also, the supermarkets' buying power will help keep grain costs down. Bread is often sold as a loss-leader in supermarkets, but smaller bakers will have to pass some of the increasing costs along to consumers," Brooks commented.