FRANCE - French Agriculture Minister Stéphan Le Foll has stepped up measures to back the beef sector in France.
Last week he met with the main players in the sector following a request for action from the National Cattle Federation (ETF) over the economic hardship being faced by beef farmers un the country.
Because the farmers are facing a drop in prices in France compared to other European countries Mr Le Foll (pictured) set up a review of the market by the analysts France AgriMer.
He said the results of the review that should show the reasons for any drift in prices and the reasons behind them should be known soon.
An investigation has also been launched into the impact that labelling has on consumer choice in the supermarkets as well as into the purchasing policies of the stores with the meat processors.
Mr Le Foll said he was convinced of the potential of the sector and he called for a collective reaction from the industry to organise itself to meet the expectations of and to seize new opportunities both in the domestic and export markets..
The Minister said he backed the desire of the industry for an improvement in quality, which will result in French specifications for beef.
He has also called on the resources of the ministry to open up new export markets and he said it was also the responsibility of professionals in the sector to conquer new markets in a sustainable way.
Mr Le Foll has also announced the appointment of an inspector general dedicated to export issues and he said it was also necessary to establish the means for producers to win tenders in the catering sector.
He said that he would meet with the industry leaders again in a month when he expected to have concrete proposals to lay on the table.
TheMeatSite News Desk