• France's news in English

French pig farmers put the block on foreign pork

Dan MacGuill · 14 May 2013, 15:04

Published: 14 May 2013 15:04 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Hit by a significant loss in earnings, French pig farmers blaming the influx of foreign meat have taken matters into their own hands this week and begun inspecting trucks transporting meat in the west of the country.

“We are checking every refrigerated truck to see if it contains French meat, if it carries the ‘viande porcine française’ label (‘French porcine meat’), or if it’s foreign meat,” Nathalie Marchand, from the chamber of agriculture in Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, told French daily 20 Minutes.

“If it’s French meat but without an official stamp, we will round up all the trucks and bring them to the local authorities. If it’s foreign meat, then it will have an entirely different destination,” she said, adding that they will no longer stand for foreign pork coming into the country if it was not subject to the same obligations as French meat.

On Monday night, on a stretch of the A81 motorway between Laval and Rennes, around 50 pig farmers formed a road block to stop and inspect passing trucks. Some of the activists wore t-shirts emblazoned with “Police de la viande,” or “Meat Police", French daily Le Monde reported.

Leading a similar operation in the Cotes-d’Armor department, head of the local farmers’ union, FDSEA, Didier Lucas, said: “We will stop and check every truck, and if we find any foreign pork, we will empty it out in front of local authority [buildings].”

The complaint of French pig breeders is, in essence, that they aren’t being paid enough by the pork industry, and blame the influx of foreign meat.

“We’re down by around 30 cents per kilo of pig,” Lucas told Le Monde.

“Between the end of October and start of April, pig farms lost on average €26,000, and since the start of April, we’re losing on average €10,000 a month. It’s unbearable,” he added.

France’s minister for agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, reacted to the pig farmers actions on Monday by vowing he would “force” those in the pork industry to pay higher prices to the breeders.

“I will organize this and force everyone in the [pork] industry to see to it that they increase prices.” Le Foll told France Info radio on Tuesday.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'Jungle' clearance: Migrants begin to leave Calais camp
All photos: AFP

The "Jungle" clearance is underway.

France’s 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

French FM calls for end to Aleppo 'massacre'
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault says the international community cannot ‘come to a negotiation under the bombs’. Photo: Dominick Reuter / AFP file picture

France's foreign minister urged the international community to "do everything" to end the "massacre" in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday after fighting resumed following a 72-hour truce declared by Damascus ally Russia.

Parisians cheer on protesting French police
French police officers on Saturday demonstrated for the fifth night in a row to protest mounting attacks on officers. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

Angry French police have taken to the streets for five nights in a row -- and Parisians have started to cheer them on, reviving scenes last seen following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in 2015.

Scarlett Johansson turns popcorn girl in Paris
US actress Scarlett Johansson greets customers at the Yummy Pop gourmet popcorn shop in the Marais district of Paris. Photo: Benjamin Cremel / AFP

Hollywood superstar Scarlett Johansson swapped the red carpet for a turn behind the counter at her new popcorn shop in Paris on Saturday.

US couple donates huge art collection to Paris
Marlene (centre) and Spencer (right) are donating their collection ‘for the benefit of art lovers’. Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP

A Texan couple who discovered their love for art during a trip to Paris in the 1970s are to donate the multi-million dollar collection they have amassed since to the French capital.

France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
jobs available