French farmers, protesting against what they describe as the “opaque” system of retailers’ margins, are set to extend their blockade of food distribution platforms today (11 June).

The news comes despite agriculture minister Michel Barnier’s assurances that the government is ready to send inspectors into supermarkets “who are not playing the transparency game”.

Speaking on French radio station, France Info, FNSEA farm union chief, Jean-Michel Lemétayer, said: “While this indicates that the government is sitting up and listening to us, it’s very unlikely that distribution platforms will be unblocked at this moment in time.”

FNSEA members are planning to block almost half of France’s retailers’ food supply hubs over the next 48 hours, with action already taking place in western France.

“We’ll only have confidence in this announcement from the government when we are sure of the commitment of all those ministers whose portfolios are concerned by the issue (of margins) and are sat round the negotiation table with the food retailers and processors,” Lemétayer said.