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French Cheese Farmers Sound Alarm as Cheese Market Slump Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

French people are urged to eat more cheese as the novel coronavirus pandemic caused sales to slump and left farmers with wasted products. The president of the National Council of Appellations of Dairy Origin (CNAOL), Michel Lacoste told the media that sales had dropped by 60% from the start of the lockdown on March 17 to April 10.

Lacoste estimated that cheese producers will be left with 5,000 tons of overstock at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the consumers had turned away from cheese since the coronavirus outbreak began. He added that French consumers changed their habits and focused on basic necessities, leaving the industry facing a big loss.

He said that the farmers, producers were not confined. They didn’t stop working. They worked every day. He urged people to eat cheese to make a fair trade act for maintaining the French tradition, the French heritage, and the French culture. It is an approach that has been adopted in Europe during the novel coronavirus outbreak previously, like a month ago Belgians were being encouraged to eat the greater amount of the country’s notable fries to save the potato business.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has poked holes in the cheese industry so equivalent with the country itself that former President Charles de Gaulle once asked how he was intended to govern a nation that produced 246 different varieties of cheese. French cheese-makers are warning that closure of cafes and restaurants and a decline in international trade due to COVID-19 crisis have caused a 60 percent decrease in sales of cheese industry from Camembert to Roquefort.

Non-essential shops have been closed for weeks since France entered lockdown in response to the corona outbreak. In a press release, CNAOL said that launched a campaign for encouraging people to support the cheese industry. The shelf life of almost 80 % of cheeses does not exceed 8 weeks, and for some, even less than a month.

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The group added that the massive overstocking of cheeses (2,000 tons) of certified quality and origin was instantly made. Beyond the risk of immense waste, the sustainability of a cheese industry is at stake and this could have significant consequences for rural areas, for which this division is often the only main economic activity.

The CNAOL group added that various players in the cheese industry have been exposed to a sudden halt in marketing channels. In France, emergency preventive measures are expected to continue until July 24. But the government has signaled how the country will creep out of lockdown, with some of the restrictive measures being lifted next week.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that Kindergartens and elementary schools are about to gradually reopen from Monday. The second monitoring phase will start from May 11 to June 2, and ministers will make a decision on the opening of cafes, restaurants and bars at the end of this month.

France has so far suffered about 25,772 deaths due to the novel coronavirus, one of the worst death tolls in Europe. The country has been dealt with the highest death rates due to COVID-19, according to the report. On Thursday, France had seen more than 25,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths and nearly 175,000 total confirmed infections.

However, the number of new cases has decreased in recent days, and some areas of France are set to gradually ease restrictions measures, though hard-hit, Paris and the northeast areas of the country will be under lockdown. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that it is good news for the country and for people.

Amna Rana

Amna Rana, a writing enthusiast and a microbiologist. Her areas of interest are medical and health care. She writes about diseases, treatments, alternative therapies, lifestyles and the latest news. You can find her on Linkedin Amna Rana.

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