PARIS (AFP) – Flanked by mountains of potatoes in a central Paris square, irate farmers Wednesday handed out free fruit and vegetables to all comers in a protest against cheap imported produce.
Organisers said between 700 and 800 farmers from the Paris region showed up for the demonstration, bringing in some 60 tonnes of potatoes and 20 tonnes of onions, apples and pears, all grown in the region.
A banner reading “I want to eat French products today and tomorrow” stretched across a monument in the middle of the square.
“Let us grow French,” shouted Arnaud Rousseau, head of a regional farmers union, FNSEA.
Their farms are threatened by the collapse of prices for cereals, milk and vegetables, caused in part by the sanctions on Russia, said another union leader, Damien Greffin.
They were also protesting increasing government constraints and charges, as well as rising fertiliser prices.