French livestock farmers have been awarded a €600 million (£420m) government-backed relief package in which some taxes will be waived and others will be “set-aside” for delayed payment.
The package follows widespread protests by French farmers, including those in the pigmeat sector, which has resulted in blocked roads and autoroutes and the “traditional” dumping of manure in public places.
The government’s reaction has been to waive around €100m in taxes and set aside a further €500m to give farmers more time to pay various debts and taxes.
French farm minister, Stéphane Le Foll (pictured above), acknowledged that 10% of the country’s farmers were close to bankruptcy with combined debts of €1 billion, with many facing a severe cashflow crisis.
The government’s action includes on a 24-point plan which is designed to help raise prices for farm produce, with pressure being put on retailers and consumers to play their part in the rescue programme.