French farmers hope to save Christmas despite Covid-19

Published on : 19/11/2020 – 00:17

Christmas is approaching and it is a crucial period for the French agro-food sectors. To compensate for the losses linked to Covid-19, farmers invite consumers not to neglect end-of-year meals, while adapting to the constraints linked to the pandemic.

« We must save the Christmas soldier! »Launched the president of the first French agricultural union, the FNSEA. ” We have anticipated the preparation for the holidays so as not to experience the same ruptures as in the first confinement… But we need consumers to support producers », Hammered Christiane Lambert.

Included in extremis in the recovery plan

French agriculture, integrated at the last minute into the recovery plan with 200 million euros, has suffered greatly from the Covid-19 epidemic. If school canteens have reopened, since the first confinement, only half of the children have returned to the refectories and restaurants have had to close their doors, as have fairs and shows. You have to freeze a lot of products. The dairy sector suffered from the drop in cheese sales.

Wines and beverages sector affected

In the beef sector, consumers have voted for the minced steak at the expense of steaks or steaks, usually served in restaurants and more remunerative for breeders. The wine and drinks sector is devastated, with a turnover that plunged 65% during the first confinement. Despite the partial catching up of the summer, crisis distillation continues.

Flowers at the foot of the tree?

As for the horticulturalists, they throw away the flower stalks by the thousands. The agricultural profession therefore encourages the French to consume locally for Christmas. And why not, suggest the producers, with flowers and plants at the foot of the tree!

100% of capons sold at Christmas

This is “the” period when the turnover of certain sectors in France is concentrated, in particular in poultry: 100% of the 2 million annual capons are sold for the end of year celebrations. As well as a large part of turkeys and guinea fowl. Sectors that could disappear with their genetics, if the drop in consumption started during the first confinement continues. The producers have however worked with the transformation to provide more cuts because it is necessary to adapt to the smaller number of guests who will meet at the table, health precautions oblige.

40% of foie gras served in restaurants

Foie gras also hopes to succeed in its season: 80% of sales take place in the last six weeks of the year, 40% of which in restaurants. Unsurprisingly, the first French agricultural union is pleading for their reopening in December.

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