Intensive farming: the behind-the-scenes story of a French poultry giant’s vast expansion plan


After it was taken over by Dutch group Plukon in 2017, French poultry giant Duc began a massive development of its industrial production of chickens. This involved halting its production of organic and certified chickens, a major extension of its slaughterhouse at its HQ in northern Burgundy, and the future construction of 80 giant broiler houses in the neighbouring countryside. The expansion, which mirrors industrial poultry production practices elsewhere in France and Europe, has raised concerns locally over its environmental impact, and in a number of villages opponents speak of a climate of intimidation. Amélie Poinssot reports.

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When Mathilde Godard signed a 15-year contract with poultry producer Duc to supply the company with organic chickens from her family farm in the village of Neuilly, in the département (county) of the Yonne, in northern Burgundy, she was fullly confident in the future of the partnership.