Family bakery business Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses has taken a strong stance on the early sale of hot cross buns. For the second year running, chief executive officer Steve Plarre has delivered an open letter to the top dogs at Coles and Woolworths, asking they join him and the greater baking community to refrain from selling the traditional buns until six weeks out from Easter Sunday.
In 2014, Steve publicly rallied bakers to hold off selling hot cross buns until later in the new year. Now, he’s sought support from as far away as the UK, with the British Craft Bakers Association agreeing the trend of selling hot cross buns immediately after Christmas devalues the product for both bakers and consumers.
“While Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses is not huge like you, we were dishing up hot cross buns before either of you opened your doors. In the last 114 years we have baked millions and millions of buns and never once had an angry, hot cross bun-craving customer demand them any earlier than six weeks out from Easter,” the letter read.
Should the major grocers join Ferguson Plarre and other bakeries in this initiative, hot cross buns would not go on sale until February 14. If not, a number of bakeries – including Beechworth Bakery and several Bakers Delight stores – have agreed to unite in protest of early bun sales. Steve has also engaged with the Baking Association of Australia and the National Baking Industry Association, which will be promoting the initiative to thousands in the baking community.
“The next step is to really actively rally the industry’s support and, based on the support we’ve had so far, it looks very promising,” Steve said.