The French government defends the “production more” of agriculture in Brussels

French Minister of Agriculture Julien Denormandie during a meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Member States of the European Union, in Brussels, March 21, 2022.

“We must increase investment to produce more. » The President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, candidate for his re-election, hammered home the message during the presentation of his program, Thursday, March 17, in the part devoted to agriculture. A desire already expressed by the host of Rue de Varenne, Julien Denormandie, during an informal meeting of European agriculture ministers organized on March 2 to discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine. On this occasion, he reaffirmed the “nourishing mission” agricultural policies and asked “to establish European food sovereignty”. With one objective: “Unlocking production potential in Europe. »

Before specifying: “Firstly, the logic of degrowth desired by the European “Farm to Fork” strategy [“de la ferme à la fourchette”] must be deeply questioned. On the contrary, we must produce more on our territory. » Same questioning expected from the obligation in the future CAP [politique agricole commune] to devote 4% of agricultural land to so-called “non-productive” land”.

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A course of action totally in line with the position defended by the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA). ” The European Union [UE] must put food sovereignty back as an absolute priority”, demanded, in fact, the union in a press release published on March 2, asking “quick and concrete actions” and arguing about “consequences on world food markets of this war, on European soil, from the Atlantic to the Urals”.

“Europe cannot afford to produce less”

The “Farm to Fork” strategy defended by the European Commission envisages by 2030, among other things, a reduction of half of the use of pesticides, of 20% of that of fertilizers and a target of a quarter of agricultural land. grown organically. Even if it was not yet binding, this text was like a red rag waved before the proponents of productivist agriculture, including the FNSEA.

This union had expressed its opposition to this policy long before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. “These objectives must be reviewed, because under no circumstances can Europe afford to produce less”said Mr. Macron, who quantified the potential drop in production of this strategy, which “was based on a world before the war in Ukraine”, at 13%. The abolition of the obligation to devote 4% of agricultural land to fallow land, as the next CAP would like, was also supported by Mr. Denormandie in Brussels.

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