Foie gras will be on the menu for Christmas Eve. Despite the avian flu epidemic which caused production to drop by 22% in 2021, the French sector is reassuring as the end of the year holidays approach.

While France has identified nearly 500 outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry farms between November 2020 and May 2021, Eric Dumas, the president of the interprofession of foie gras Cifog indicated Thursday, October 14 “that there would be foie gras for everyone ”.

To stop the epidemic, “3 million ducks were slaughtered” often as a preventive measure, said Marie-Pierre Pé, director of the Interprofessional Committee of Foie Gras Palmipeds. She specifies that there was no epidemic resurgence after the restart in June.

According to information from Marie-Pierre Pé, the production of foie gras and duck products such as duck breast and confit in 2021 is estimated at around 11,700 tonnes, a decrease of 22% compared to 2020.

Sales up 3.6%

In large and medium-sized stores, sales of foie gras increased by 3.6% in volume between January and mid-September 2021. Marie-Pierre Pé also specified that almost all foie gras sold in France was sold in France with “less than 1 in 10 of European origin”.

Cifog also indicated the resumption of exports of foie gras with “an upward trend which will continue” thanks to the reopening of certain markets, particularly in Asia.

To prevent the emergence of a new bird flu epidemic, the government had set a new framework for farmers in July, such as a ban on leaving poultry outdoors in the event of an elevated level of risk.

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