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France: Escargot producers struggle to make ends meet


Since the start of the second lockdown on October 30, with the closure of the country’s restaurants, producers of Escargot in the heart of French “Burgundy” are struggling to make ends meet. 


Snailsboiled in garlic butter are a classic of French cuisine. They have long aroused the fascination and fear of tourists, especially the British retreat to the idea of ​​eating molluscs. 


Although few French people buy snails on a regular basis-usually introduced during parties or holidays-they still often display snails on restaurant menus. But as France fights to reduce the stubborn high rate of Covid-19 infection, restaurants will continue to be closed for several weeks, and snail growers are worried about their future. 

Producer Herve Menelot said: “By 2020, my sales have fallen by 33% than expected.” He added that from June 2020 to October 2020, he did not pay himself wages, but instead relied on savings. Raw. “This year is the same. I did not participate in the (trade) exhibition, nor the farmers market, nor the restaurant. We are not very optimistic,” Menellot said. He added that he was worried that he might have to end his business. 


Another producer, Olivier Dard, told the French news agency that his turnover has been halved in 2020. Dade was forced to serve in the local council to increase the family’s income.

The French snail industry consists of hundreds of small farmers who have been struggling to compete with cheap imports from Eastern Europe. Of the 30,000 tons of snails consumed in France each year, only 5% are French, and these snails cannot be shoveled from the road and sold.

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