17 November 1995


FRENCH veal producers are bracing themselves for a permanent decline in business as UK and German animal rights activists put pressure on politicians in Brussels.

At the same time French consumers are turning their attention to cheaper, alternative white meats, according to Remi Fourrier. For example, he said turkey escalopes were valued at 45 francs/kg (£2.59/lb), compared with veal at 140 francs (£8) to 150 francs/kg (£8.60/lb).

Even though consumption was falling, production was declining at a faster rate.

"There was a problem here when producers were using growth promoters such as glenbuterol," says Mr Fourrier. "When veal quality improved, the welfare issue hit production."

French producers were now looking for ways to adopt more welfare-friendly production methods, he said. &#42

&#8226 Consumption: 295,000t (37% of EU total) 5.1kg/head (2.3kg EU)

&#8226 Production: 254,000t (32% EU)

&#8226 Two million calves reared for veal

&#8226 200,000 calves imported from UK