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News 304 views last update:6 Aug 2012

French beef producers block plants for better price

Dozens of French beef producers in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Picardy and the Ardennes block the slaughter houses of leading French meat processor Bigard.

The action is on instigation of the agricultural union FNSEA (National Federation of Farmers' Unions) and JA (young farmers).
 
The farmers protest against the sale price of a kilo of meat they consider too low in view of increasing costs, particularly related to animal feed, and investments in coping with new standards.
 
"Today the average price is around € 2.90 a kilo, we would like to earn 50-60 cents per kilo, especially as the prices of large retailers are increasing," says Christopher Hochedé, spokesman and responsible for the beef section FDSEA.
 
“We can no longer cope, if it continues like this, our revenue will be zero or negative this year. "
 
Nine slaughterhouses of the Bigard group are blocked since Sunday night. Farmers say they will remove from the dams when the processors have opened talks and have made credible proposals.
 
Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, admitted that the beef producers were "not paid enough" and indicated that he understood their "dismay" and "concern ". He was to have a talk on Tuesday at his department with key industry players to consider quick fixes to address the issue.
 
Hochedé explains, why they picked the Bigard Group for their protests. “Bigard leads the French market for beef. It has 45% of the killing sites in France and 70% of the hamburgers sold in France come from its institutions. Putting pressure on this group is to pressure the entire industry,” he said.
 
 

Dick Ziggers

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