A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

The French food sector: a gruelling return after summer

September 15, 2014

Will 2014 be the annus horribilis for the French food sector? As work resumes after summer, there is evidence that this might be the case in a sector with a background of grim structural tendencies.

Unprecedented: food production fell historically low in 2013 by 2.2%. In addition, the loss of 4,840 jobs in 2013 and an inventory of 316 failed agribusinesses along with the constant decline in farm incomes for the past two decades have finally broken the morale of French agriculture. Another concern is the “negative price spiral” driven by the retail sector and criticized by Philippe Mangin, president of the Coop of France, amid continued deflation (1.8% decline in prices in June for the fourth consecutive month).

This already very fragile situation was aggravated by the Russian embargo last August1 and by a new Common Agricultural Policy that has an insufficient budget and is ill-adapted to economic and agricultural realities, as well as the prospect of a Transatlantic Partnership which has been increasingly criticized by the agricultural profession. On this last point, although “the preservation of the European food model and our strategic agricultural interests are lines not to be crossed” as addressed by the Valls government as part of these negotiations, the concern is real and is largely based on an increasing number of studies that put the scope and gains of such an agreement into perspective.

French agriculture seems to be navigating by sight and forecasts are disturbing to say the least. For if the food industry generates 60€ billion in turnover from exports and is France’s second trade surplus after aeronautics, over the past 10 years, France has moved from 2nd to 5th place as an exporting country, behind the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil. Since the early 2000s, French competitiveness seems to have taken a new downturn (after an initial decline that started in the 1970s), particularly due to the rise of neighbouring Germany and emerging countries.

Yet agriculture and the agro-food sector is an anti-crisis weapon for France and a first-rate instrument of power. Protecting farmers and consumers from the risks within this strategic sector should become a key issue, as attempts at temporary measures will only hide the necessity for deep change within the sector for a time.

A new geopolitical tectonic plate is emerging. The European Union and therefore France could be the biggest loser in this new game if it continues to believe in the absolute virtue of free trade and sacrifices the future of its agricultural and food industry. Mr. Phil Hogan2, will you be the one to give new impetus to European agriculture and agribusinesses?

1 Read our article on the russian embargo

2 New EU agriculture commissioner

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Paris, 25 June 2019