Dairy cow investors lose €800,000 to fraudsters

How investing in dairy cows became a crooks' paradise. Pictured: cows in Burgundy, France.
How investing in dairy cows became a crooks' paradise. Pictured: cows in Burgundy, France.

Investing in dairy cows to help farmers build up their herds – one of the star alternative investments in France – has become a crooks’ paradise with more than €800,000 lost to fraudsters.

It begun in the 70s

The schemes, pioneered in the 1970s, and reaching public attention in the early 2000s, fitted into the French rural ideal. They worked on the principle that investors pay into a company that buys young heifers and loans them out to farmers. They receive in return both a share in profits from the milk the cow produces during the year and any future calves she might have.

Returns would vary, according to the price of milk, the quality of the beast and whether the calves were male or female. For ...

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