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.
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Bilateral trade agreements: French, American and African unions are calling for an exception to be made for agriculture

Arnaud Carpon, Terre-net Média

Article published in Terre-net Média

At the closing of the Young Farmers’ (Jeunes Agriculteurs – JA) Congress on Thursday 18th June in Le Mans, the union, along with two American and African producers unions, called on States and national and international institutions to make an exception for agriculture in trade negotiations and “develop policies that protect family farming”.

It is not only in France that bilateral trade negotiations, particularly between the EU and the United States (TTIP or Tafta) are a concern; American producers via the National Farmers’ Union and the African Farmers’ Union, ROPPA (Network of Farming Organizations and Agricultural Producers in West Africa) fear that massive agricultural exports “will destabilize domestic markets and efforts to increase local production”.

In a joint communication, Young Farmers, the National Farmers’ Union and ROPPA have “called on States to continue as guarantors of food independence and maintaining family farms despite the current propensity for engaging in bilateral trade negotiations”.

“Bilateral trade negotiations between major regions are being entered into around the world: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union and the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) between Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the EU are two good examples. The opportunities offered by these agreements in terms of economic growth, the extent of which remains to be seen, should not cause our leaders to lose sight of the need to protect the agricultural sector and family farmers”.

Complementarity, food sovereignty and job creation

"JA, the NFU and ROPPA do not reject international agricultural trade. They argue that trade is necessary, but exports must not destabilize domestic markets and efforts to increase local production”.

"JA, the NFU and ROPPA invite world leaders to consider these agreements in view of complementarity, food sovereignty and rural job creation: the response to the challenges within agriculture cannot simply be faced by a race for competitiveness in unbalanced free trade agreements where partners are at different stages of development. Opening new markets without giving local family farmers access to them can cause job losses and severe deterioration of rural areas, partly because of the gap in competitiveness”.

"JA, the NFU and ROPPA call on States and regional integration institutions to strengthen the capacity of family farm production to ensure food requirements. It is their duty to implement appropriate agricultural policies that protect farmers from market fluctuations. There is a need for dialogue to control international markets, particularly through the establishment of joint actions on the part of producers and consumers to stabilize markets and ensure fair prices for producers”.

"JA, the NFU and ROPPA call on States and regional integration institutions to develop policies to protect family farming which today provides 70% of global food needs. This should result in:
    - Support for youth training schemes and setting young people up,

    - Support for local industries, particularly through the protection of expertise and land through origin labelling,

    - Public subsidies for farmers' incomes. "
“French, American and African circumstances are different and the devices to be implemented will differ. However, it is now time to listen to the international voice of farmers who have much more to gain from cooperating in favour of sustainable food security than competing in the field of economic competitiveness. "

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Paris, 20 June 2019