Record Fois Gras Sales

Sales of foie gras this year are expected to beat previous records, despite a growing campaign in France and abroad against the force-feeding of geese. Last year, sales of foie gras increased by 4.4%, and a further increase of around 4% in the volume of sales is expected this year. France accounts for around three quarters of the world's production of fois gras, (primarily from the Dordogne and Gascony), and sales of France’s celebrated gourmet dish have increased both at home and abroad. It is a very popular dish at Christmas throughout France, although in the South West it is eaten more prosaically on a regular basis. Whilst most developed countries have laws that regulate the rearing and feeding of farm animals, few have expressly outlawed the force-feeding of geese. Neither has the EU Commission been entirely willing to outlaw the practice, although it has recommended that no further countries should start the practice. Opposition against the practice is probably more widespread outside of France than within the country. Nevertheless, the campaign group Stop-Gavage has already received widespread media coverage in France this year, as it rolls out a seasonal roadshow event across the country with videos, leaflets and a national petition against the practice. The French media have also covered with interest the news that the British supermarket Waitrose has decided this year to stock its shelves with Faux Gras, a blend of liver pate from geese and duck reared in the open air, and not force fed. French producers have mocked the initiative as nothing more than a publicity stunt, although Waitrose has now been on record for the last six years in refusing to stock foie gras on its shelves because of its opposition to force feeding. French foie gras producers were similarly embarrassed last year, when a Spanish producer of ‘ethical’ fois gras won a prestigious food award at the Paris International Food Salon. As much as many stores throughout Europe were interested in buying it, the producer has been unable to produce it in sufficient quantities for it to make any significant dent in the traditional market. One of the difficulties of introducing new production methods is that under French law, the product cannot be called 'foie gras' unless the geese have been fed through the 'gavage' process.£££Return to Newsletter£££

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