Share article:
Share article:

The number of bakeries in Belgium keeps dwindling

© Belga

Bakeries have been closing down in the past 10 years at the rate of two per month in Wallonia and closer to five per month in Flanders, Le Soir reported on Tuesday.

The closures have been blamed on the establishment of a new economic model in which prices often take precedence over quality.

The number of bakeries went from 1,557 in 2008 to 1,307 in 2017 in Wallonia, according to data from the Federal Public Service for Economic Affairs. In Flanders, the drop was even higher: from 3,224 to 2,684, in the same time-span. However, the numbers remained stable in Brussels: 352 bakeries in 2008, and 355 in 2017.

“The downward trend has been confirmed since 1996, the year that the Francophone Federation was created,” the president of the Francophone Federation of Bakeries, Albert Denoncin, commented in Le Soir. “And this drop is even more noticeable in Flanders. Where the Brussels-Capital Region is concerned, you would agree that it’s difficult to go any lower.”

An increasing number of supermarkets are selling low-cost bread at all hours of the day, ”so there is stronger competition with the traditional bakeries since the economic model of the big department stories combines exceptional volume with lower prices,” said Carole Dannevoye, project director at the Union des Classes Moyennes (UCM).

“Obviously I am not talking about quality since it’s often frozen dough from Eastern Europe,” she explained. “At the same time, raw material prices are sky high, so small bakeries are forced to specialise in organic bread, without gluten, to attract a different clientele looking for specific, more expensive, products.”

The Brussels Times

Latest news

More than 1,300 Covid-19 patients in Belgian hospitals
More than 1,300 people are in hospital as a result of coronavirus infections, as the number of new cases continues to rise in Belgium. Between ...
Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...