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French Action Plan for Poultry Sector

23 April 2013

FRANCE - Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, St├ęphane Le Foll and Minister of State for Food, Guillaume Garot, have set out a development plan for the future for the country's poultry sector following a meeting with the poultry industry last week.

The Interministerial Delegate for Agribusiness and Agro-industries, Alain Berger, presented the results of his mission conducted in the autumn of 2012 with the entire industry.

The biggest challenge facing the industry is to consolidate a common strategy, according to the ministry.

Because of this, the sector will establish an inter poultry meat body involving all parts of the sector - upstream to downstream - including the distribution and food-service sectors, to build a shared vision and a win-win strategy while keeping in France a standard production for the domestic market and for export, together with production quality mark.

Stéphane Le Foll said: "We must create a genuine collective dynamics and real solidarity between all links in the chain, from upstream to downstream, to the benefit of all."

The French agriculture minister set out a four stage programme for the industry that the government will support.

1) Modernising farms, to give more competitiveness for farmers, combining economic and environmental performance, and taking advantage of the potential of the poultry industry in energy saving and renewable energy (including solar).

2) Strengthening the link with the slaughter and processing sectors for which three areas of action have been proposed:

  • In line with the declaration of the Franco-German Council of 22 January 2013 stating that the two countries also share the goal of fighting against the misuse of the secondment rules in the European Union, France will continue to take this up at the Community level, to ensure an end to the disparity in the cost of labour in slaughterhouses, because of the extensive use by some countries of secondment of workers.
  • After successive reductions in the level of export refunds in October 2012 and January 2013, on 18 April, the Commission extended the current level of €108.50 / tonne for three months. The French ministers continue to defend maintaining the current level of refunds for the benefit of all the links in the food chain.
  • The need for the widest possible employee skills to improve career security recognition. The designation of a branch OPCA by the poultry sector is one solution to advance the work in this direction.

3) Rethinking the commercial and contractual relations in the industry: further to changes in the law on the modernisation of the economy (LME), including the introduction of a mandatory clause on the price volatility of raw agricultural and food products, thought has to be given to improving contractual relations between hatcheries, feed and livestock producers and manufacturers to ensure better distribution of value and to encourage technical performance and ensure
greater responsiveness to market changes.

4) Enhance the Country of Origin of France: the industry will engage in voluntary country of origin labelling for all products, and develop specifications for poultry in France, integrating beyond strict country of origin, sanitary quality, standards of well-being, social norms, etc.

Guillaume Garot said: "This plan should enable the consolidation of existing jobs and the creation of a new impetus in the French and export markets.”

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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