Sign up here: A contribution of as little as €10 will allow us bring something new to your kitchen table every day!
French catering is renowned the world over for its quality. Food is an incredibly important part of French culture and its identity. Sitting in a small French restaurant and being served an expertly prepared meal, from scratch with quality ingredients; life wouldn’t be the same without it.
Unfortunately French catering is facing perilous times. Meals are increasingly being industrialised and standardised, these often factory-produced off the premises yet still sold as fait maison. Poor to downright almost inedible ingredients are becoming commonplace due to the problems of the agricultural sector; the dominance of the big business fast food, low wages, social and fiscal fraud, poor standards of training have all led to a serious decline in french food which must be dealt with.
Last spring the French government organised an inquiry on the state of catering they called Les Etats Généraux de la Restauration. It was the ideal occasion for a real debate on a subject of utmost importance to us all, but the opportunity for a national debate on this livelihood of the French economy was completely wasted.
The resulting drop in French VAT on catering from 19.6% to 5.5% implemented summer 2010, has mainly benefited big catering chains and done nothing of a practical sort to improve wages or lower retail prices. This huge VAT rebate which should have created jobs, encouraged public spending and provided new sources of funding for the nation’s farmers has turned into a chaotic farce and ultimately generated adverse publicity for the French catering sector. The annual cost of cutting VAT is €3bn per year to the state could have been better spent and there has been little benefit from this expensive PR stunt – promised price drops in restaurants around France have been insignificant due to insufficient support of the sectors agricultural requirements.
Can democracy survive without debate? The Vrais Etats Généraux de la Restauration (VEGR) wants to put the French dish back in the center of public debate, as much a global debate as a French one, and work to resolve these problems before it is too late. We want an openly democratic discussion on nutrition, catering and agriculture that will enable the country to deal with these problems and allow French cuisine to retain its reputation as one of the finest experiences in France. Our fight will continue as long as nutrition in France is not taken seriously by its politicians and until it is treated with all the respect it deserves!
Our motto? Think global, eat local!
What is VEGR? We are a collective of citizens, associations and professionals not affiliated to any political party and proud of the restaurants we love.