On February 22, farmers demonstrated in Lyon to denounce the decision of the mayor EELV, Grégory Doucet, to withdraw the meats from the canteen. Several ministries have reacted and parents of students want to cancel the decision of the elected.
On February 22, 2021, farmers demonstrated in Lyon (Rhône) in front of the town hall to protest against the decision of the ecological mayor Grégory Doucet (Europe Ecologie les Verts) to impose meatless menus in school canteens as of back to school. Responding to the call of several unions, a hundred farmers went under the windows of the town hall to voice their discontent.
In a joint press release published on February 19, the Departmental Federation of Agricultural Unions of the Rhône (FDSEA) and the Young Rhône Farmers (JA), request a meeting with the mayor and recall the need to provide children with varied meals, stressing that vegetables cannot be substitute menus because they do not have the same nutritional value as a piece of meat. “All this is becoming unacceptable and the Covid crisis does not excuse everything!”, Estimated the FDSEA before meeting with the Rhône breeders on February 22 in front of the town hall. As reported by France Bleu, a symbolic mini-farm (a cow and two small kids) was installed with a barbecue and a meat tasting stand.
Accused of taking an entirely “ideological” measure, Mayor Grégory Doucet defended himself on Twitter by arguing that this proposal for a single meatless menu was taken for health reasons, in particular to streamline the service and ensure a distance of two meters between the children in the canteen. The elected representative also stressed that these menus had already been introduced after the first confinement by Gérard Collomb’s team, while specifying that these menus are not vegetarian.
Beyond the sterile controversies over the temporary health protocols of our canteens, we are also working in Lyon for a long-term food policy.
Food is an essential lever for the ecological transition of our cities 🥗⤵️https: //t.co/CgP8zgSh2T
– Grégory Doucet (@Gregorydoucet) February 22, 2021
Storm of political reactions and legal action by parents of pupils
The explanations were not enough to convince the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, who took a public position on the subject. In a tweet published on the evening of February 20, Gérald Darmanin denounced a “scandalous ideology” of the “Greens” and referred to an insult made “to French farmers and butchers” before specifying that children from the lower classes would be the most affected. by measurement.
In addition to the unacceptable insult to French farmers and butchers, it is clear that the moralist and elitist policies of the “Greens” exclude the popular classes. Many children often only have the canteen to eat meat … Scandalous ideology. https://t.co/gFGf0JWZKn
– Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) February 20, 2021
Asked on February 23 on RTL, the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, was astonished: “Who […] Can you understand that today in the canteens of the Republic we stop serving meat every day of the week? Obviously I don’t understand it, but like many, many parents of students ”. On February 21, he seized the prefect of the Rhône on the legality of the issue of meatless menus imposed by the ecological town hall of Lyon in school canteens. An answer which will be given shortly.
In a press release entitled “Green town halls: stop the carnage!”, The French confederation of butcher’s, butcher’s shop, caterers (CFBCT) denounces a “doctrinaire decision of the town hall of Lyon which removes meat from school canteens”. “We are witnessing a new tartufferie of elected” green “in the service of an ideology. In the town of Bocuse and stronghold of French charcuterie, the town hall prefers, out of patronage, to deprive children of meat, and for some from modest backgrounds, of the only balanced meal of the day ”.
On the other hand, the town hall of Lyon received the explicit support of the Greenpeace association, which, in a press release, recalls that “the introduction of vegetarian menus is not only a necessity in terms of climate and health, but it is also a win-win measure for French producers and breeders ”. The association also maintains that “the Minister of Agriculture and Food and the Minister of the Interior are encamped in a political posture of defense of industrial breeding”.
As reported by the regional daily Progress, parents have already announced that they are going to court via a summary suspension, which will be filed with the administrative court of Lyon by February 26 to cancel this decision of the town hall.