June 20, 2021

Organic farmers unhappy with government arbitrations

A last stand. This is the feeling that animated the organic farmers who came to demonstrate, Wednesday, June 2, on the Esplanade des Invalides in Paris. Farmers anxious to express their dissatisfaction after the arbitrations made by the government on the subject of the future common agricultural policy (CAP). No tractors threatening the nearby Ministry of Agriculture, but speeches, music, a good-natured spirit against a background of deep anger, with the slogan: “The naked organic! “

“Between the CAP which will be extinguished in 2022 and the one which will arrive in 2023, I do not see any change. The decisions taken are not up to the challenges that we must collectively meet ”, says Loïc Madeline, of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB). He had slammed the door during the meeting to present the CAP arbitration to stakeholders organized on Friday, May 21, by the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie. “During the prior negotiation, we made some proposals. They were not retained. We were treated with contempt. I don’t regret having slammed the door. But we must lose with dignity ”, he adds.

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Since then, a battle of numbers has begun. Mr. Denormandie acknowledged that the objective set by Emmanuel Macron to reach 15% of areas cultivated organically at the end of the five-year term will not be achieved. The reality would be closer to 12% to 13%, he predicted.

The government has therefore chosen a new course with the ambition of reaching 18% in 2027. To support this movement, 340 million euros should be devoted to aid for the conversion of farmers wishing to switch. in organic, over the period of the next CAP, 2023-2027. In the CAP which is coming to an end, the envelope allocated to this policy was estimated at 250 million euros.

Maintenance aid permanently wiped off the map

This conversion assistance is paid for five years. It must make up for the drastic drops in yield and the reorientation of production on the farm.

Before, when the organic farmer had passed this pivotal period, he received a maintenance aid, which took over to continue to consolidate his new economic model. Subsidies co-financed by the State and the regions. In 2017, the government of Mr. Macron decided to stop abounding maintenance aid, leaving regions that wished the possibility of keeping it. Mr. Denormandie announced that they will, this time, be definitively wiped off the map with the future CAP.

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