Juice drink withdrawn from sale in France after complaints from police unions

Juice drink withdrawn from sale in France after complaints from police unions
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
A fruit juice drink marketed at French schoolchildren has been withdrawn from sale after furious complaints from police unions.

The True Fruits juice drink had shocked some parents due to the nature of its packaging.

Titled Edition spéciale Rentree 2021 (special edition for the return to school 2021) the juice comes in a bottle that has the appearance of being covered in graffiti scrawled by teenagers.

Several parents shared pictures of the bottle on social media, which included the phrase ‘Fuck le systeme’ and ‘Manion, Lucie, Adrienne, Céleste à poil’ (naked) and ‘rentree de merde’ (shitty back to school).

READ ALSO Why do the French love to say f**k so much?

But in the end it was four little letters that most people missed that caused the biggest storm – ACAB. The English language acronym (all cops are bastards) sparked the ire of France’s police unions.

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Alliance Police shared the image on Twitter saying: “When a fruit juice brand makes its money on anti-cop hatred.”

The union added that this was “the perfect way to destroy relations between the police and the community” and tagged interior minister Gérald Darmanin.

Axel Ronde, general secretary of the Police en Avant union, added: “How can you tolerate anti-police inscriptions on your product?”

The German brand True Fruits – known for its provocative labelling – has so far not commented, but French supermarket chain Monoprix has announced that it will be removing the drink from its shelves, saying on Twitter: “We do not tolerate this type of message on products listed in our brand.”

Even before the drink hit the shelves, relations between the police and community have been tense in France for some time, with many accusing the police of violence and racism. There have also been repeated attacks on police officers.

ANALYSIS: How did France’s relationship with its own police get so bad?

2020 saw a series of protests in France over police violence, connected to the Black Lives Matter movement, but also sparked after police in Paris were caught on camera beating up a black music producer.

President Emmanuel Macron said that the images “shame us” and is putting forward proposals to increase independent oversight of the police. 

But even his use of the term ‘police violence’ met with a furious response from police unions, which in December 2020 called for a “total blockade” over his calling out of racial discrimination during police stops and ID checks.

Member comments

  1. The fact that “every sector of society” has a union is absolutely normal, consubstantial to democracy, and even enshrined in the Constitution of the 5th Republic (you would probably think the same if you were working in one of those “sectors”, because unions have made social breakthroughs possible and are now trying to defend them as much as possible). But when you are a union, there is the usual tug-of-war / negociation between employers and employees, that may or may not result in a “victory” for the latter. Except for police unions though: 100% of the time, it’s bingo time, zero risk, zero rebuttal from the employer (ie the State). Being a police unionist is a great job in France.

  2. These French unions are so insecure it’s an embarrassment. I would hazard a guess that most kids never noticed the acronym or knew what it meant, they will now, amongst the other writing.

    1. Alliance is not another “French union”. It is THE ONLY French Union that systematically gets 100% of what if wants, be it a withdrawal of fruit juice bottles or police employees (most of them being mere pen pushers) going into retirement 12 years earlier than any other French employee. 87% of people on the Police nationale pay roll are unionised, Alliance and equivalents are just the French Teamsters. The anglophone press is used to making fun at SNCF or RATP unions, but it has been a while since they have won a social dispute: in 2019-20, 7 weeks of strike, with matching salary gaps, to no avail. Alliance & Co do not even need to strike (theoretically illegal, even though they do take some grey area action): they just ring Darmanin, the next day they get an appointment and all their demands are met. Simple.

      1. You are not to keen on our police then. A union is a union, they are all bloody pests but are even worse in France because every sector of society has a union and are only interested in themselves not the good of the country.

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