Crucial Talks In French Meat Price Crisis
Today represents what Le Monde refers to as a “key moment” in France’s meat sector, as industry leaders, president François Hollande, and minister for agriculture Stéphane Le Foll, engage in meetings in an effort to resolve ongoing meat price disputes, for which there have today been calls for EU intervention.
The biggest meat-processing company and buyer in France, Bigard, as well as another giant in the field, Cooperl, refused to buy pork from Brittany last week in a price stand-off. The latter, commenting on its refusal to purchase the meat from the region that produces about 15 per cent of pork sold in France, urged for further deregulation of the industry, what it calls “a return to the free market.”
Xavier Beulin, president of the French Farmers’ Union, said on French television this morning (17 August), “We need for the [agriculture] minister to make a commitment to work with his colleagues in the European Commission on this, particularly as the Russian embargo has been such a powerful factor in creating this dramatic situation in France.
“Brussels should intervene, and it has both the legal and financial muscle to do so. This is a deep, deep crisis now.”
Cooperl, however, has said that it has seen “nothing plausible coming to the negotiating table, nothing that we can announce.” It also stated that the notion that €1.40 can be paid for a kilogramme of pork, the price to which farmers believe they are entitled, is a “defunct” one in the modern economic climate.
© 2015 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Peter Donnelly. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.