22 December 1999
UK shoppers defy French boycott call
By Donald MacPhail
BRITISH shoppers have ignored calls from farmers leaders to boycott French produce while France continues its ban on British beef exports.
British consumers are leading the way in buying up French agricultural produce for the festive season, according to the French agriculture ministry.
New figures show French food and drink exports have rocketed, with champagne proving particularly popular with festive revellers.
Food and drink exports from France outstripped imports by FF8.3bn (£794m) in October, a FF1.6bn increase on the same month last year.
Britain has led the way among EU countries, which together increased the amount they spent on French farm products by FF400m.
Exports in October rose by five percent to FF22.87bn. In the same period imports fell three per cent to FF14.58bn.
Over the first 10 months of 1999 the French agricultural products surplus rose to FF49.6bn, FF1.4bn more than the same period last year.