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"French consumers are baffled, trade has stalled"

"Safety measures to be taken after attacks"

The attacks in Paris this weekend brought everything very close to home for Europeans. Some traders within the industry gave us their reactions. On Friday, terrorist attacks killed 129 people.

"I find it very hard, After what happened in Paris I am finding it very hard," said Marc Peyres from Blue Whale. "At the same time it was also touching to receive messages from customers all over the world." The events happened before in London and Madrid and now in Paris. "However it is not only France, so the question is what will Europe do?. If you see the history, you can see that when there is trade between countries there is less chance of war."

The coming week traders expect it will be different in France and mainly Paris trade-wise, but after that it will continue again. "We have to move on," said one trader.

Border checks
Following the attacks, several countries have scaled up and intensified border controls. Logistic organisations informed members to take into account delays and additional inspections at the border crossings with France.

"It is a fact that this will have an impact on borders. Business controls will be heavier, mainly at Spanish borders," mentioned Anne Florin from Saint Charles International. The organisation has been in touch with the authorities to stay up-to-date on possible consequences. "Whatever they ask we agree, as it has to be done. We have to wait and we must make sure to adapt it as soon as possible."

Comments from Benelux
As French market specialist, Cees de Mooij, of Gebr. de Mooij, from Oegstgeest, was in Paris to meet with a customer last week. "Our customers were shocked. People are upset and don't know how to deal with it. It's suddenly so close. For them, it is naturally much worse than for us," explained the trader.

Understandably, the fruit and vegetable business was pushed to the background. "I asked my Parisian customers not to call today. Trade stalled on Saturday. Stores were closed in the market and our regular customers didn't need to make any transactions. With the stores and small retailers completely gone, wholesalers were directly affected. This situation will probably last for a few days," predicts Cees.

Stefan Mesman, responsible for planning at C. Vreugdenhil transport, called its Paris headquarters immediately after the attacks, and luckily the situation there was quiet. "At Rungis, everything appears to be going as normal. It's a little quieter than usual. In the coming days, the consequences will be clearer, but in general the French market situation is quite unpredictable and we can't even begin to guess what the consequences will be."

Veiling Hoogstraten also exports a lot to France. Jan Engelen was shocked about the situation. "It's a tragedy, it's really terrible what happened. However, I don't think we have much to say about what the actual impact will be, for example, on the economy. Tourists will perhaps stay away, but we cannot really establish a link with trade right now. Looking at similar events in the past, you can see that people in the area normally don't take very long to resume their activities. Everyone is definitely concerned, but life goes on and people don't stop eating."

Author: Izak Heijboer and Sander Bruins Slot

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