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France Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

France Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

One of the largest importers of food in the world, France sits within top 5, according to the World Bank. Thanks to its strategic location, France has excellent import and export trade partners across Europe and Africa, as well as in Asia. Notably, France imports much of its vegetable supply from Spain, Morocco, and Brazil, amongst other countries. For food products, most of France’s imports come from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. The French food import statistics demonstrate strong relationships with their neighboring European countries. Annually, France is seen to import USD 560,000,000.

However, because France has such a strong agricultural system, there is less need to import fresh fruit and vegetables. These imports take place on a more seasonal basis. In terms of exports, France is famous for exporting large quantities of wine, cheese, and wheat, amongst other items.

What Are the Rules with French Food Law?
Given that France imports and exports food with many countries around the world, it is understandable that they have quite rigorous laws in place. Generally speaking, France follows the rules and regulations set in place by the European Union, of which they are a member state.

France has its own set of policies in some areas. This includes their restrictions on importing hormone-treated beef and poultry that have been treated with antimicrobials. There are also restrictions on enriched flour, animal genetics, certain exotic meats, and certain fruits and vegetables.

For imported food products to France, there are strict labeling regulations that must be met. The labels must be in French, although multilingual labels are also accepted. Some things that need to be included on the label include the product name, the net quantity, the date of minimum shelf life or optimal usage, and the details of the place from where it is imported.

Restrictions on GMO Products
France is a country that has many import restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms. The production, sales, and import of these are legal in France, although it is heavily mandated and restricted. In terms of importing GM goods, product labeling and specifications must be very clear. 

In general, with imports in France, there is a stronger move to use locally grown and produced products. This is a newly written law in the French parliament in which 40 percent of the food served in ‘collective restaurants’ must be sourced locally. This may result in France importing much less from neighboring countries and around the world. They will, however, remain to be a strong exporter of products. 

To learn more about wholesale French food importers, be sure to check out the information at Nutrada. 
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