ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

French livestock plan stalls as meat firms balk at higher prices

PARIS -- A price boycott by French meat processing firms against higher pork prices threatens to derail a government plan to support angry livestock farmers, who blockaded roads last month.

PARIS -- A price boycott by French meat processing firms against higher pork prices threatens to derail a government plan to support angry livestock farmers, who blockaded roads last month.

Family firm Bigard and cooperative Cooperl on Monday shunned a twice-weekly pork auction in Plerin, Brittany, preventing the setting of a price that acts as a benchmark for the French pork sector.

Discontent among farmers over low prices and falling income in the European Union's largest agricultural producer boiled over in July amid accusations that processors and retailers were not respecting a voluntary deal to boost farmgate prices.

The government tried to defuse the crisis with temporary relief for meat and dairy farmers worth up to 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) and by pledging to keep monitoring the market to ensure buyers pass on higher prices to farms.

Some processors have been reluctant, however, at a time when a Russian food embargo and a slowdown in Chinese dairy demand have hit European meat and milk prices.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Everyone is accountable in this crisis," Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll told reporters in Paris.

"This pork crisis requires both short-term measures, with prices listed at Plerin, and at the same time the undertaking of structural, long-term efforts."

Prices at Plerin have risen in the past month to reach a 1.40 euro-a-kilo target agreed in a June agreement overseen by the government. This level is seen by farmer groups as a minimum to cover production costs.

Processors say the gap with rival EU pork producers in Germany and Spain has become unsustainable, however, and that the future of slaughterhouses is being put at risk.

Le Foll said meetings later in August and September would discuss longer-term changes to the pricing and marketing of pork.

France is also looking to an EU-wide response and will be seeking to obtain longer periods for EU-subsidized storage of pork and a higher price for triggering public purchases of dairy products at an emergency farm ministers meeting on Sept. 7.

However, French farmers' protests and government moves to support them have irked politicians and producers in Spain and Germany. 

Related Topics: LIVESTOCK
What To Read Next
Gevo will be making sustainable aviation fuel in Lake Preston, South Dakota. Summit Carbon Solutions plans to capture carbon emissions from the facility.
Even if it's not a lucrative venture, the hobby of raising rabbits continues at this farm near Sebeka, Minnesota.
Snow removal takes time and man hours, but necessary to good operations
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission hits Banghart Properties LLC, with cease-and-desist on grain trades.