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The unthinkable has happened. The French are avoiding cheese.
Citizens of France are being encouraged to eat more cheese as the French dairy industry has seen a 60% decrease in sales of fromage amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a press release by France Terre de Lait (the French dairy industry), this situation has arisen as restaurants and markets have shut down, and people are preferring to spend money on basic ingredients, than on cheese. Also, reports state that the French are being cautious about hygiene standards and buying less over-the-counter cheese.
As a result, France's cheese producers find themselves in a dire situation with a risk of almost thousands of tonnes of cheese being thrown away. “We’re in a situation where consumers have lost the taste for eating cheese during this crisis,” rued Michel Lacoste, president of the National Council for Milk Product Appellations (CNAOL). Tonnes of unsold cheese has been given away by food charities, or been melted down, or just destroyed. Around 80% of the cheese produced cannot be stored for more than eight weeks.
In an attempt to tackle this unprecedented situation, a nation-wide campaign supported by celebrities, involving Michelin-starred chefs Régis Marcon and Marc Veyrat and the French Rugby Federation, has been launched in order to support cheese, probably France’s numero uno culinary heritage.
#Fromagissons pour une consommation solidaire de nos fromages de tradition partout en France.— CNIEL (@cniel) April 16, 2020
La filière laitière lance la campagne de communication nationale " #Fromagissons " clé en main, à 360° - déclinable en magasin, en drive... pic.twitter.com/iXliAgoW45
#Fromagissons – an amalgamation of fromage (cheese) and agissons (let’s act) – is being used on social media in order to create awareness. “The dairy industry is calling on consumers to eat cheese in solidarity with our producers of saint-nectaire, reblochon, cantal, camembert,” the release said.
“The situation is critical and requires a rapid increase in consumption,” president of the dairy collective Sodiaal (Société de diffusion Internationale agro-alimentaire) Damien Lacombe said, as reported by French magazine Agri Culture.
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