04 November 1998
French pig farmers win extra funds

FRENCH pig farmers have forced their Government to come up with extra funds.

Emergency aid of Ffr150 million (£16.3m) followed a meeting of the pig producers federation with French agriculture minister Jean Glavany.

The minister also pledged to help co-ordinate a broader initiative across Europe to tackle falling pig prices.

Pork prices have fallen to Ffr5.17/kg (56p/kg) from a high of almost FFr12/kg at the start of the year.

French pig production expanded heavily in the wake of concern about beef following the BSE crisis.

Demand also came from new export markets like Russia. But pork exports to Russia, which have been running at 30,000 tonnes a month, have stopped because of the financial crisis.

The French industry has also faced problems on the environmental side. Large-scale farmers are being asked to spend large sums of money cleaning up the pollution created by intensive pig farming.

There are close to 20,000 pig farmers in France, with most of the industry in Brittany.