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Anger of farmers: Parisian restaurateurs, collateral victims of blockages?

Could the blockades of farmers around Île-de-France threaten the good supply of Parisian bars and restaurants? If fears surrounding the possible occupation of the Rungis market seem to have gone away, the fact remains that the first difficulties are being felt, both in terms of attendance but also deliveries.

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Anger of farmers: Parisian restaurateurs, collateral victims of blockages?

Could the blockades of farmers around Île-de-France threaten the good supply of Parisian bars and restaurants? If fears surrounding the possible occupation of the Rungis market seem to have gone away, the fact remains that the first difficulties are being felt, both in terms of attendance but also deliveries. “It’s going pretty well but we’re missing a product, a meat that hasn’t been delivered to our supplier,” assures Maxime, unpacking his delivery of wine in his restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, before launching confidently: “We adapts.”

“For the moment, we don't really have a delivery problem,” also tempers Matthieu, a restaurateur in the Parisian hypercenter, who nevertheless noted the concern of his delivery people, who told him “to have more problems delivering outside of Paris and right in the center. The fault is one of the many blocking points still occupied by farmers around Paris, on the A4, the A6, the A10 but also the A15.

At this time, the police remained in battle order to prevent them from approaching the Rungis market, a pantry in the Ile-de-France region where many restaurateurs obtain their supplies. If the president of the FNSEA, Arnaud Rousseau, considered that such a blockage was "not a good idea", a convoy of farmers leaving Agen was still pursuing this objective this Tuesday morning, playing a game of tag and the mouse with the police.

Also read: Anger of farmers: should we really be worried about a food shortage in Île-de-France?

“For the moment, buyers in Rungis tell us that they have been especially bothered by the number of police trucks coming in,” smiles Franck Drouet, general delegate of the Groupement des hôtelleries et caterings de France (GHR). The day before, Semmaris - responsible for administering the Rungis market and organizing its commercial activities - reported a slight slowdown in the arrival of trucks on the site, "of the order of 5 minutes".

Disruptions therefore still remain limited, which has not stopped some restaurateurs from anticipating possible delivery delays and taking precautions. “We anticipated by having deliveries earlier than the start of the week,” says Niry, for example, owner of a brasserie in the 9th arrondissement. If delivery difficulties were to intensify, “we will adapt”, philosopher Franck Drouet. “We will try to find other products, we will reduce the menu and, at worst, the number of place settings. But we’re not there yet!”

But if the fridges are full, some restaurateurs are especially afraid of seeing their rooms empty. Franck Drouet mentions “cancellations of people who had to come to Paris by car or bus”, who preferred not to venture to the capital for fear of finding themselves trapped by blockages. “We are seeing a return to teleworking with meetings switching to video as a precaution”, and therefore a little fewer people in restaurants, adds Frank Delvau, president of the Ile-de-France section of the Union of Trades and Industries of the hotel and catering industry (UMIH).

As proof according to him, there have rarely been so few traffic jams in Île-de-France this Tuesday morning, with smooth roads and ring road. An impression reinforced by the low cork curve displayed by the specialist site Sytadin.

He fears a clear drop in activity at the end of January, already severely disrupted by the snowy episode of past weeks. This Tuesday, he even mentioned cancellations of nights in hotels, “of the order of approximately 15%”. In addition, restaurateurs are counting above all on the solidarity of farmers, whom they say they support in their fight. “We buy their products at the right price, we promote them in our restaurants,” points out Franck Drouet. It’s up to them to make it possible to continue to keep them alive during the movement.”

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