Paris moves on pork prices threatened Cooperls competitiveness, Drillet said

Paris' moves on pork prices threatened Cooperl's competitiveness, Drillet said

France's leading pork processor, Cooperl, has announced it will no longer be purchasing at livestock auction and will depend entirely on supplies from its members in protest to current price levels.

Speaking to just-food today, the group's president, Patrice Drillet, said Cooperl had taken the move because prices in the French pork market are "disconnected from other European countries".

He underlined it was message to the French government. Earlier this summer, Paris said it had obtained agreement across the sector - from breeders, processors and retailers - to raise pork prices up to EUR1.40 (US$1.55) a kilo over a period of several weeks.

"Politicians can't fix pork prices by decree at a level which makes Cooperl uncompetitive in relation to its European counterparts, just to get farmers to stop protesting," Drillet said. Bigard, the number two player in the sector, has followed suit, he noted.

?Drillet added Cooperl's members could supply the co-operative with up to 92% of its requirements. "Our supplies from the Brittany auction are marginal. From now on, we'll only be supplied by our own members, which means we'll be slaughtering fewer pigs."

He ruled out purchasing non-French pork, the exception being in the organic segment, where local breeders alone cannot meet demand.

French pork prices are EUR0.25/kilo higher than in Germany.