France: Foie gras sold at super-low prices in legal loophole

The exception to the usual law can be obtained by direct request, allowing producers to sell at super-low prices at this popular time of year.

15 October 2020
Slices of foie gras on a table. Foie gras sold at super-low prices in France in law loopholeFoie gras is a popular food in France at this time of year, and producers are looking to make serious sales
By Hannah Thompson

Foie gras and duck magret are being sold at very low prices in major supermarkets in France this year, as producers make use of a sales law loophole.

This time of year to Christmas represents 70% of sales for the sector, with foie gras and duck often favoured over the holiday period. As a result, the industry is working to improve sales now, especially in light of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The sector had also previously suffered due to two consecutive bouts of avian flu.

As a result, foie gras and duck magret producers in France have now managed to obtain a waiver that is enabling them to sell at much lower prices than the law would otherwise allow.

French law - specifically the law known as the “loi Egalim” - limits sales and promotions to 34% by value, and 25% by volume, to avoid supermarkets from being able to cut prices so low that producers risk receiving almost nothing for their goods.

However a loophole to this law exists for those who request an exception directly from consumer watchdog the DGCCRF (Direction générale de la concurrence, de la consommation et de la répression des fraudes). This is because the DGCCRF has recognised that in some cases, the law may be too severe.

Michel Fruchet, president of industry body CIFOG, has said that everyone who requested an exception this year has been able to obtain one.

Supermarket brands including Leclerc, Intermarché and Carrefour have already been holding “Le Comptoir de Canard (Duck Counter)” events - which are set to run until November 16 - selling duck products at very low prices.

Related stories

Foie gras: French fraud report finds major issues

Foie gras made without ‘gavage’ now on sale in France

subscribe newsletter image
Stay informed, have your say, join the community
Boost your inbox with our editor’s pick of news and information about France for residents and second homeowners
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Updated! Brexit and Britons In France
Featured Help Guide
What Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020.
Get news, views and information from France