News last update:Feb 25, 2016

French pig market resumes despite boycott by buyers

The Marché du Porc Breton, the pig market in Plérin, Brittany which sets the reference price for France, has resumed after a week without any sessions because 2 of the major purchasers refused to participate.

At Tuesday's session, a price of €1.389/kg was established. That is over €0.01 lower than the €1.40/kg agreed by the government and pig farmers a few weeks ago. That €1.40 has been the reference price at the MPB since the end of July. Two of the major French pork companies, Bigard and Cooperl, say they can't afford such a high price when competing with other international players. Both companies say they can buy pigs much cheaper in Germany, the Netherlands and other European countries. For that reason, they both decided to stay away from the bi-weekly pig auction at MPB.

Crisis meeting called over pork market

Because those companies normally take a large part of the trade, the market authorities decided last week not to have any session at all, leading to a backlog of tens of thousands of pigs at the farms for which no buyer could be found. At a crisis meeting at the department of agriculture early this week, it was agreed that the MPB should resume its sessions even if Brigand and Cooperl continue to be absent.

Pig farmers plan national demonstration

French pig farmers and their colleagues with other livestock have announced a national demonstration in Paris on September 3th. A few days later, on September 7th, there will be a similar event in Brussels where the EU agriculture ministers meet that day for a special Council to discuss the current crisis in European agriculture.

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