The lockdown in France also affects farmers and growers: French distributors have now vowed to stimulate local fresh food products, through advertising or even by adjusting their offer.
30% less fruit and vegetables
The fresh food markets in France now have to close as well, which is an additional blow to the agricultural industry which already was severely affected by the closing of restaurants and non-essential shops. In their panic buying, consumers are increasingly turning to long-life and frozen products and leaving fresh produce on the shelves.
Interfel, the organisation of French fruit and vegetable producers, reports a 40 % drop in sales on the wholesale markets. Lidl reports a 20 to 30 % drop in fruit and vegetable sales since the start of the lockdown, whereas almost no flowers and plants have been sold at all.
Therefore, most French distributors now promise to give extra attention to products of French origin. Système U promises to make every effort to promote the sale of seasonal products from France and to support national production, while Intermarché announces a nation-wide media campaign, LSA writes.
French asparagus only
More strikingly, some chains even go as far as to favour domestic produce altogether: from Wednesday on, Lidl will only sell strawberries and asparagus from France in its French stores. The discounter will even take Spanish variants, which were previously purchased, off the shelves and donate them to charity organisations.
E.Leclerc will give priority to strawberries, cucumbers, asparagus and tomatoes from French soil. The originally planned promotion with strawberries from Spain, at the end of April, is replaced by one with French fruits. Carrefour, on the other hand, is committed to supporting the national fisheries through concrete measures.
French farmers are also facing an acute shortage of labour now that the borders are closed. The agricultural federation FNSEA therefore calls for a large number of volunteers: the need for farm workers is estimated at 200,000 people over the next three months. As such, those who are temporarily unemployed due to the corona crisis are encouraged to go help farmers in the south of the country.