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French foie gras makers expect 10% price hike as feed costs soar

French foie gras is likely to be more expensive in the coming year as producers try to pass on a 10% rise in costs, mainly for grains, which account for the bulk of duck feed.

27 April 2021, at 7:14am

Reuters reports that producers of the gourmet food had already been hit by the closure of restaurants and catering - their biggest markets - due to the pandemic and a severe outbreak of avian flu that lead to the culling of 3.5 million poultry, mainly ducks.

Grain prices have soared in the past months on concerns about tight global supplies, with US corn futures hitting their highest since June 2013 on 26 April. Over the first three months of the year, the French index for poultry feed rose by 22%.

Higher costs also include packaging prices linked to a surge in demand for metal, carton and plastic, CIFOG said.

The price rise will be eventually passed on French Foie gras exports when importing countries lift bans imposed after the discovery of bird flu outbreaks, CIFOG Chairman Michel Fruchet said.

"Bit by bit countries will re-open and we will pass this little price inflation," he said, while stressing that the impact would be low due to the small average volumes per capita.

"It's something you buy for your pleasure, not the daily baguette."

Foie gras is considered a delicacy in Western and Asian cuisine and a piece of French culinary heritage, but the practice of force-feeding ducks or geese to enlarge their livers for making the pate is condemned as cruel by animal activists.

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