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French press review 23 February 2013

Lots of farm animals on the front pages of the newspapers here in France today.


Catholic La Croix, looks at the case of milk farmers whose days are never ending. The paper follows two farmers who own 70 milk cows through their daily routine ahead of the annual Paris Agriculture fair. 

It also looks at environmental and sustainability concerns among European milk producers. The goal, they say, is make the industry sustainable.

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

Le Monde has also graced its cover with a cow. It writes that beef producers have suffered greatly in the continuing horsemeat scandal in Europe.

The French daily writes that during the agricultural fair, François Hollande is going to have to pat a lot of cows backsides. But on a serious note, he will need to speak to farmers in order to reassure his support for the French beef industry.

Le Monde also notes that the crisis in the industry is not down to production but revenue.

On the horsemeat scandal, the paper looks at the complicated relationships between meat producers, sub-contractors, and what the paper calls "sub-sub-contractors" in the meat industry. A number of countries have been called on to investigate, but for now, only France, Britain and Belgium have opened investigations.

An editorial in Le Monde argues that, although horse meat isn't bad for you, is cheaper than beef, and - some would say - even tastes great, it's hard for people in Europe to avoid being suspicious when they look at their plates.

Le Figaro has dedicated an article on the Spanghero family, the same name as the company accused of passing off horse meat as beef. The family, a well-known Rugby family here in France, no longer owns the firm. However , they are still concerned about the name association.

Le Figaro has taken the opportunity to write a meaty piece about the men of the family, mixing food with rugby, ahead this afternoon's Six Nations (rugby) game between England and France. Not a very digestable read and perhaps even a little confusing.

Libération has meanwhile put a bristly pig on its front page noting that the European agricltural system isn't eco-friendly enough. Apparently 32% of organic foods sold in France are imported. Not great for a country that prides itself for its farming.

Libération also features an interview with the famous Green European MP José Bové who says that all the eco friendly propositions have been emptied of their substance.


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