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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,
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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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THE END OF BEET QUOTAS IN 2017
Jean-Paul Vuilliot: “Yes to contracts, but at what price?”



Arnaud Carpon, Terre-net Média


Article published in Terre-net Média



The sugar quotas will be eliminated on October 1, 2017. The French beet growers will have to adjust to a liberalized, competitive and volatile market. While they remain optimistic, the issue of price is on everyone’s mind. Jean-Paul Vuilliot, a grower in the French Aisne region who is a member of the Coordination Rurale, fears a lower profitability of beet growing in the coming years. Here is his testimony.

I am a little concerned by the 2017 deadline, the year when beet quotas are eliminated. The refineries say they will export more. Yet, saying producing greater quantities is saying downsizing and relocating facilities. The national production zone could be squeezed further, leading to an increasing risk of diseases and yield losses.

On an agronomic standpoint, I grow beets in the no-till farming (“TCS”) method to minimize soil damage. But harvesters are increasingly more intruding. The wheat we sow following beet crops often provide lower yields, which further curtails the profitability of the farm. I have a beet quota of 1,700 tons and about 500 tons through an industrial contract for ethanol or alcohol. My production is delivered to Tereos located in Origny-Sainte-Benoîte.


“WE NEED CONTRACTS WITH A DURATION OF AT LEAST FIVE YEARS”

At this time, I have no information on what will happen after 2017. I presume cooperative firms will convert the quotas into contracts, with, I fear, a one-year duration. Yet we need visibility to anticipate our crop rotations. We need contracts with a minimal five-year duration, to be renewed in the year preceding their termination. My production costs are approximately €27/ton. In spite of the recent price drop, I get a little more than €30/ton.

What about beet prices following the end of quotas? Will the base price be lowered? As far as costs are concerned, beets are bound to be increasingly more expensive for producers. The new environmental regulations––especially the cutback in phyto-sanitary products––will force us to buy more expensive treatments. The per-ton profitability will thus decline.”


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Paris, 18 December 2018