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.
Christian Jacob
  France has always been an agricultural nation

by Christian Jacob,
French MP and Mayor of Provins,
Chairman of the UMP Group at the French National Assembly

Currently a Member of Parliament and Mayor of the town of Provins, as well as Chairman of the UMP Group at the National Assembly, Christian Jacob has always maintained a close interest to agricultural issues. A farmer-breeder by trade, he was elected President of the French Federation of Young Farmers (CNJA) in 1992 and then to the European Parliament where he chaired the Agriculture Committee. In his recently published book “Le bon sens en politique” (Common Sense in Politics), he covers the key strategic, economic and social role of agriculture in France. For Christian Jacob, we must regulate markets to safeguard agriculture, because France’s and Europe’s sovereignty and power are depending on it.

momagri Editorial Board

Is France still a major agricultural powerhouse? Some observers doubt it, considering the decline in the number of farms during the past 50 years. In reality, if we merely look at the figures––a questionable approach in itself––we must look at other numbers. France ranks first in Europe for agricultural and agr0-food production, first in the world for processed agro-food exports with a €9.1 billion trade surplus, and is the world’s third agricultural power. Agribusiness is France’s first industry with 13,000 firms recording sales of €145 billion, and directly or indirectly supports 20 percent of our workforce!

Although the country now counts fewer farmers, France has always been an agricultural country. And this for a simple reason: We never forgot that in agriculture, the production and transformation operations are closely linked. As far as the food chain is concerned, the winner keeps production close to transformation, packaging and distribution.

Maintaining a vibrant agricultural sector is a critical issue for France, since our food independence depends on it. While I am generally in favor of entrepreneurial freedom, I do not believe that markets are self-regulating. Letting markets operate without any regulation can lead to economic standstill and monopoly positions that inexorably make the strong stronger and, conversely, the weak weaker. I support market regulation through social, health, environmental and financial standards.

If there is one area where regulation is more mandatory than in any other, it is indeed food supply. Foodstuffs are not wrenches or ball bearings. Grains, vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy products are valuable and unique commodities. The public authorities must influence markets, especially in times of shortage or overstocking. Food self-sufficiency is certainly the key issue for any country that wants to be a well-respected nation. For what is at stake is nothing less than our sovereignty. The world food issue is a major geopolitical issue. It has been at the heart of the founding covenant in the construction of Europe. It will be a decisive matter to enhance the legitimacy of the European Union in the eyes of our fellow citizens, who expect it to be committed in defending global stability. Neither France nor Europe can be powerful without agriculture.
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Paris, 16 June 2019