Somerfield joins boycott of French goods

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Indy Politics

A second supermarket chain today joined the boycott of French produce in retaliation at the French ban on British beef.

A second supermarket chain today joined the boycott of French produce in retaliation at the French ban on British beef.

Somerfield, which has 600 outlets across Britain, said it had decided to stop selling French apples as soon as possible.

The supermarket chain, which claims to be Britain's biggest neighbourhood grocer, said today it had doubled supplies of English apples and was "squeezing French apples off the shelf".

It will also import apples from Italy and Belgium.

Earlier this week the Budgen supermarket chain said it was boycotting French produce in support of frustrated British beef farmers who are facing a refusal by the French to accept the resumption of British beef exports following the BSE crisis.

The French have repeatedly said they will not accept British beef because of continuing health concerns while the German government has also stalled in implementing the lifting of the worldwide ban on British beef by the European Union.

A renowned French restaurateur who dropped his native food and wine in protest at France's refusal to allow British beef imports has received an official protest from his country's embassy.

Philippe Roy took French items off the menu at his Bath restaurant - Clos du Roy - and replaced them with British dishes.

But yesterday the French Embassy wrote to Mr Roy to tell him that it was "devastated" by what he had done.

Today Mr Roy expressed astonishment at receiving the letter.

"I was very surprised to receive this letter yesterday morning, telling me that I had been like a naughty little boy - that I had let the side down and I should have checked with them before I opened my mouth," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"What matters to me as a restaurateur is that I have to support the people next to me ... if you don't support the producers of good food who are around you, then there is no chance that you are going to have good food in the future."

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