Monday, 24 January, 2022

After two years of crisis, French foie gras is rebounding

With 18,986 tonnes of foie gras put on the market, French production is much higher than the 13,514 tonnes produced in 2017, according to the Interprofessional Committee of Foie Gras Palmipeds (Cifog). Its sales in supermarkets are also on the rise, both in volume (+ 2.8%) and in value (+ 3.4%), compared to 2017. “The results are good, even very good. We have succeeded in starting our return to the French market! “, Rejoiced Michel Fruchet, President of Cifog during a press point on Thursday.

During the end-of-year holiday season, a key moment for the consumption of foie gras, sales increased by 7.6% in volume in supermarkets and this despite a climate not conducive to purchases due to demonstrations of “yellow vests”. “The end of the year was a bit complicated. The season passed in four days, on December 23, 24, 30 and 31,” regrets the boss of Cifog. “We are back on the path to growth but we are not reaching the pre-crisis level. The two-year vacuum has been detrimental,” concedes Marie-Pierre Pé, the general director of Cifog.

Boom in Hungary and Bulgaria

In 2015, more than 20,000 tonnes were produced in France, of which 4,044 were sold during the holiday season, or 600 more than in 2018. But the H5N1 virus in 2015-2016 and H5N8 during the winter of 2016-2017 had decimated millions of ducks, slaughtered to curb the spread of the virus in several departments of the South-West. The sector has since put in place a battery of health security measures to avoid new epidemics.

Exports, which had also been affected, also rose (2,032 tonnes against 1,817 tonnes in 2017) thanks in particular to the authorizations of certain countries such as Japan which had banned the product during the avian flu epidemic. The trade balance remains in surplus for 2018, at 18.4 million euros but contracted slightly compared to 22.9 million euros in 2017. Imports of foie gras, mainly from Hungary and Bulgaria, have indeed jumped of 12% in value while exports only increased by 6%.

(With AFP)