10 May 2000
French blockade wins apple cash
By Philip Clarke
FRENCH apple growers have been promised extra compensation for lost sales to the UK after bringing parts of the countrys railway system to a standstill.
Growers representatives meeting with farm minister Jean Glavany said they were promised more money in addition to FF50 million (4.5m) already announced.
The producers claim to have lost FF2bn (180m) as UK consumers turned their backs on French apples in retaliation for the French ban on British beef.
In response to a call for action by the FNSEA farming union, about 50 blockades were set up on Monday (8 May) and tyres burned on station platforms.
The French growers support their governments stance on British beef claiming that the British authorities cannot guarantee it is safe for consumers.
But they believe they should not suffer the consequences of a decision which concerns society in general rather than just farmers.
Overall apple shipments to the UK are 10% down on last year at a time when total French apple exports have increased by 20%.