Price of foie gras in France set to rocket this Christmas

The Local France
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Price of foie gras in France set to rocket this Christmas
Photo: AFP

The price of foie gras is set to rocket in France once again this Christmas as the ravaged industry continues to suffer the effects of two outbreaks of avian flu in as many years.


The controversial delicacy remains popular in France, especially at Christmas when it is is eaten by 86 percent of people.
But this year they'll have to dig deeper into their pockets to cover the cost, with some farms left with half the number of ducks bred for the purpose of producing the delicacy.  
Two outbreaks of bird flu in as many years have seen production of foie gras drop nearly 20 percent on 2016 levels and 40 percent compared to 2015 levels. 
In 2016 and 2017, all farms in the south west were forced to slaughter their ducks to stop the virus spreading.

France imposes three-month ban on making foie grasPhoto: AFP

Thomas Lafargue, a duck breeder from Landes department in southwestern France usually produces 70,000 foie gras ducks but for the second year in a row has produced just 35,000, reported Franceinfo
As a result prices will soar for the second year in a row.
This means that 180 grammes of foie gras will jump €4 compared to last year's prices, according to Franceinfo, with another French press report suggesting that the price hike will amount to  a whopping 10-25 percent increase. 
In 2016, The Local reported on a ban on French foie gras producers exporting their product outside Europe after the discovery of a new case of bird flu at a farm in the south west.
The outbreak near the town of Carmaux led to the deaths of 3,000 ducks out of the 5,000 on the farm.
Authorities confirmed it was an outbreak of the H5N8 strain of bird flu, which is “highly pathogenic” for birds but harmless for humans.
France usually produces 75 percent of the world's foie gras which is mostly made through the controversial method of force feeding geese and ducks to fatten their livers.
Force-feeding -- known as "gavage" in France -- has been banned in several countries but is legal in France and the luxury dish has become a battleground between animals-rights campaigners and defenders of France's gourmet traditions.


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