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.
Focus on issues

  Focus on issues  

Agricultural outlook: The many concerns
of the Chambers of Agriculture for 2016

Arnaud Carpon, Terre-net Média

Article published in Terre-net Média

Economic challenges in all production activities, the difficult implementation of the CAP, the commoditization of milk contracts, the TTIP, criticisms regarding red meat and health crises... As we start the year 2016, these are some of the many concerns voiced by the Chambers of Agriculture and the APCA.

As they expressed their new year’s wishes to the media on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, the APCA leaders presented a very troubling report for 2015. They feel that the many problems that have built up in the key agricultural sectors represent as many concerns for this New Year.

In view of the current situation of the various sectors, the APCA intends to select the dairy sector as its primary focus for 2016. An in-depth analysis of the dairy sector, and then of the meat sector, must lead the Chambers of Agriculture to voice proposals in the upcoming months. “We must regain reference points in the agricultural policies in France and in Europe.”

“How must operators in the dairy sector reorganize themselves?” asked Guy Vasseur, the APCA President. The executive also speaks out against the growing practice of “commoditization of milk contracts.” “We are coming across contracts that listed on markets, in particular on the ad website leboncoin.fr. We are strongly opposed to such procedure, as it will endorse the end of new dairy farming operations. How can the public authorities allow this system to exist?” insisted Vasseur. The same question could be asked to private milk collectors, who do not seem to object.

Providing collective and humane support to farmers

As far as the beef sector is concerned, Guy Vasseur deplored “the relentless attacks against the consumption of red meat. We see considerable misinformation in the mainstream media.”

The APCA President wants to believe that it is still possible to “rescue“ the farmers experiencing great difficulties and close to getting out of the profession. “We could have a major support program for struggling farmers. I refuse to do it now. I do not know if they should be assisted when they leave the profession, but we must provide them with collective and humane support.”

Competitiveness remains one of the key challenges to be met in all sectors. The APCA has forwarded 19 simplification proposals to the French Senate and to the European authorities. The Chambers of Agriculture are especially asking for easing the regulation concerning methanization, in order to shorten project realization delays, and thus reach the development objectives.

“Stop bugging farmers”

“The administrative red tape and the water management problems are also issues that were not resolved in 2015. In the field, both farmers and the Chambers’ technicians are fed up with unenforceable schemes,” added Guy Vasseur.

The Chambers of Agriculture are also passing on the concerns expressed by the IMF for which “The indebtedness cycle of the global economy is rising again.” The farming debt level is all the more worrisome since the widespread fall of agricultural commodity prices “should continue in 2016.” The situation of the grain sector should not be an exception. The initiative from the new president of Argentina to increase grain production and ease exports is an additional factor for maintaining low prices.

In this general context, the TIPP––the free trade agreement between the EU and the United States currently under negotiation––adds a significant discredit to the European Union, which is in charge of the negotiations. Even the American authorities are admitting that the agreement would punish French and European agriculture to the benefit of the United States.

Also on the European front, the APCA––together with all agricultural unions––criticizes Phil Hogan’s position, the European Commissioner for Agriculture who disavows the existence of the difficulties faced by French and European livestock farmers. “And if that was not enough,” the Brussels investigations conducted in the Summer 2015 roundtables on livestock farming to attempt to reevaluate prices remain “a nonsense.” “How could Brussels blame France and its farmers at a time when the price of pork is €1.06/kilogram, quite lower from the prices that had been hoped for at the end of the talks,” stated Guy Vasseur.

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Paris, 16 June 2019