17 November 1995

FRANCE CHOOSEY OVER VEAL…

FRENCH consumers demand tender, white veal which is significantly different to beef meat, says Gerard Barbin, from Paris-based Interbev Veaux, the French equivalent of the Meat and Livestock Commission.

Even though 85% of French households buy veal, pork and poultry, retail prices are increasingly competitive.

About 10% of veal is produced with suckling calves from beef-bred cows, such as Limousin and Blonde dAquitaine in specific regions like the Massif Central and near the Pyrenees.

Calves suckle their mother for between three-and-half and five months. Depending on breed, carcass weights vary between 120kg and 150kg. This type of production, branded veau sous la mere, has a good public image in France and is sold at a premium, although supply is seasonal.