May 13, 2020 - World

French told to eat more cheese as pandemic causes sales to plunge 60%

A woman wearing a protective face mask buys cheese at a store in the center of Montpellier, south of France, on March 25

A Montpellier cheese store in the south of France on March 25. Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP via Getty Images

France's dairy industry issued an open letter on Tuesday urging people to eat more cheese, as farmers face an overstock of 2,000 tons of the product. Coronavirus restrictions were relaxed following eight weeks of lockdown this week.

Why it matters: Lockdowns have caused a surplus of food in several countries. France has seen cheese sales plummet nearly 60% since the pandemic began. Belgians are being urged to eat the national dish of fries twice a week as the potato industry faces a possible loss of $135.5 million. Meanwhile, Canada has been hit by a surplus of cheese and fries, with some 200 million pounds of potatoes "stuck in storage" and demand for cheese has taking a "significant downturn," the National Post reports.

Go deeper: The quarantine diet

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