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Hollande announces emergency plan for French livestock sector

Taiwanese tourists walk past livestock breeders who block access roads to the Mont Saint-Michel in the northwestern region of Normandy

President Francois Hollande has said he would unveil an emergency package of measures to help France’s livestock and dairy sector on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s announcement came as livestock farmers in tractors maintained a blockade of roads in northwestern France, keeping pressure on the government to take action over what they say is a squeeze in their margins by retailers and food processors.

“Tomorrow’s cabinet will take decisions. Beyond the issue of distribution and prices, I have asked that there should be an emergency plan for French livestock and dairy producers,” Hollande told reporters in Paris.

He gave no details other than to say there would be “structural measures”.

Earlier, Farm Minister Stephane Le Foll told France 2 television a government-commissioned report on pricing in the industry would now be handed over on Tuesday rather than Wednesday as originally planned.

Le Foll rejected suggestions that a consolidation of the local livestock sector was required to create larger industrial-sized plants. “I do not believe in that model,” he said.

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