France comes with a substantial subsidy for support for its own pig farms

French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie has allocated 270 million euros in subsidy to support the French pig industry. He is also going to ask the French supermarket groups to do something about purchasing prices, and pig breeders will be given a postponement of payment of social contributions.

The first phase involves 75 million direct aid that will be paid out “quickly” within “the next two to three weeks”. It will be a cash support of up to 15,000 euros per company. EUR 175 million has been earmarked for the second phase (April-May).

The exact criteria will be determined with the industry in the coming weeks before being notified to the European authorities, as it could be perceived as 'market intervention' and 'distortion of competition'.

With this, Paris wants to support the sector that is currently confronted with a “scissors effect”: with significantly higher operating costs (energy, feed) and a fall in pork prices. The price drop throughout the EU is a result of continued high production, despite the loss of sales (in China), and the increasing African swine fever in Europe.

With this national support, France is one of the 15 EU countries that have now set up some national support. Despite persistent pleas from several EU countries, the European Commission is not prepared to engage in any form of market intervention or financial support.

A number of 'big' meat-exporting EU countries are also against a market intervention because it does not solve anything structurally, but only means a temporary 'postponement'.

Earlier, Brussels pointed out that three-quarters of the pork market in the EU is in the hands of only a few large meat concerns, which can easily pay for the high costs themselves. As a result, especially the small and medium-sized pig farms are in danger of going bankrupt, which threatens to create an even greater concentration of the pork industry.