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Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 09:33 GMT

UK: Wales

French boycott gathers pace

Welsh wine buyers are cancelling orders

A boycott against French products is gathering pace as Welsh farming leaders urge shoppers not to buy Beaujolais Nouveau wine.

As France continues to refuse to lift its ban against British beef, one Welsh wine importer has cancelled his normal order of 4,000 bottles and claims sales of French wine are down by 30%.

BBC Wales' Melanie Doel: "Restaurants have cancelled French events"
Just four years ago Welsh farmers were exporting beef worth 20m to France each year.

Their continuing boycott - despite the lifting of the beef ban - is damaging attempts to resume trading with Europe.

Welsh shoppers have in turn been refusing to buy French produce.

The National Farmers' Union is urging people to say "non" to Beaujolais Nouveau on 18 November - the day it traditionally comes on sale.

A number of restaurants have cancelled special French events and are serving Welsh beef and wine instead.

One wine wholesaler from Barry in south Wales - who has appeared in the "Guinness Book of Records" as the fastest importer of Beaujolais Nouveau in the world - has cancelled his normal order for 4,000 bottles.

Importer Ron Porter also said sales of French wine are down by 30%.

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