"French exporters: "Carrefour policy always the same"

The French retailer Carrefour (1,200 locations) made international news this week by pledging to source the main winter vegetables from their own country, and so swap products like potatoes, carrots and onion from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany for those grown domestically. The European Commission did not want to respond to Carrefour's choice. Supermarkets decide where they buy their assortment, said the Commission.

Growers' union Legumes de France is now trying to get other supermarkets to follow Carrefour's example. Competitor Auchan stated that most winter products and two thirds of the fruits and vegetables are sourced from local growers. Auchan said that they advertise these products, which are regularly on offer.

According to Dutch fruit and vegetable exporters the announcement is a storm in a teacup. "It's a continuation of a policy that has been led for years. The French supermarkets already source all they can in France, and when there is no French product available, they buy from elsewhere. The fact that they're looking for publicity is logical, considering the Russia story, but its mainly for the audience. I don't see this statement as a new policy, but rather one that has always been followed."

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