Agri-food: the Gers remains faithful to 100% duck in its recipes

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Faced with the shortage of ducks, the State authorizes the food industry to replace fat and meat in its recipes. The Gers escapes the ersatz.

Repeated avian influenza epizootics have emptied duck farms. However, processors, and especially the food industry, continue to offer products made from duck – and more broadly from poultry – for which it is increasingly difficult to find the raw material. This shortage has led the State to grant temporary derogations on the labeling, concerning the content of duck, which can be replaced by meat from another source, or fat from other poultry.

These derogations are strictly framed, and a display is planned in the departments concerned and at the checkouts of the stores. If they allow manufacturers not to stop production despite shortages in the supply of duck or poultry, they are not automatic. “Everything is seen on a case-by-case basis, we explain to the Gers prefecture. It is the DGCCRF* which examines the request for exemption, and checks their admissibility. Clear information must be affixed to the labeling of products that have a special status: “GMO-free”, organic, “raised without antibiotic treatment”, “raised in the open air”, “French origin”, etc. We are therefore going to see the small labels crossing out the compositions or the names of the pots of industrial rillettes. But not on Gers products.

“We are not going to sell chicken instead of duck!”

“No Gers company has made a request in this regard”, indicates the prefecture. And in fact, the processors contacted have no intention of modifying their recipes. The position expressed by Maison Tête sums up the general feeling of businesses in the department. “Of course, there is a shortage, and not just in duck,” says Adeline Mistrorigo. It affects us too. But changing our products is out of the question! »

The lack of ducklings penalizes the resumption of production.

The lack of ducklings penalizes the resumption of production.

The company expects a “hole” around October or November. The lack of ducklings to restart breeding this summer is blurring the visibility of production for the entire Gers sector. Even though the hatcheries have been very responsive, the hatcheries are not able to supply much more than 50% of the animals needed. With 90% of breeders decimated by influenza, the sector does not expect a return to normal before 2023.

In the Gers, Maison Tête, like others, has preferred to diversify its offer, with new recipes that avoid relying too much on duck. The period of crawl space exceeded the usual 4 weeks: impossible to set up the new ducklings intended to cover the demand for the holidays. “We started making veal-based products, but selling jars stamped duck, when we put chicken in them, is really not on the agenda! The made in Gers will remain 100% duck, even if it means reducing the volumes on sale.

*DGCCRF, Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention.

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