Global Processing

French food industry withstands crisis-lobby

April 27, 2009
The head of the French food industry’s lobby said the industry should hold up relatively well in the economic crisis despite accepting price cuts in negotiations with supermarkets this year, reports Reuters. The sector is not facing major difficulties, although it will not be clear until after the summer whether it has ridden out the crisis, ANIA President Jean-Rene Buisson told a news conference. Margins remain tight for French food makers, however, after they agreed to cut their prices by 1-2 percent on average this year following negotiations with retailers. Margins for food manufacturers were on average between 1.5 and 2 percent, falling to 0.5 to 1.5 percent for the majority of smaller firms. Ania represents big names such as Danone as well as small and medium-sized companies that the lobby says make up 97 percent of some 10,000 food manufacturers in France. Food makers overall saw sales rise 5.5 percent to 162.9 billion euros ($214 billion) last year, including a 17 percent lower export surplus of 6.6 billion euros. Regarding the spread of swine flu from Mexico in recent days, Buisson stressed there was no link between the flu and pork meat, adding that the health committee of the French employers'' federation was due to meet this week to discuss developments. [