the emergency fund elevated to 90 million euros by the federal government | EUROtoday

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On Wednesday February 28, the federal government elevated the brand new emergency fund meant to assist licensed natural farmers in issue to 90 million euros, whereas sustaining the goals of conversion to this sector with out pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

This fund, which should nonetheless be accepted by the European Commission, is along with the 104 million euros in support paid in 2023 to operators within the sector who’ve been struggling for 2 years from sluggish consumption in a context of excessive inflation.

“The Prime Minister had posed [à la fin de janvier] the basics of a 50 million euro fund and we will [le] increase to the tune of 90 million euros », announced the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, at the Salon de l'agriculture. The idea is to send farmers “the message that we have recorded that the difficulties are continuing”, provides his workplace. They will have the ability to submit a request when Brussels has given its approval, in March or April, hopes the ministry, which is relying on a cost by the top of June.

Farms deriving no less than 85% of their turnover from natural merchandise and having skilled a drop of their gross working surplus or turnover of no less than 20% are eligible.

This fund stays removed from the calls for of the National Federation of Organic Agriculture (FNAB), which is looking for a plan “in line with the losses suffered by the sectors, namely more than 250 million euros per year for two years”.

Read the evaluation | Article reserved for our subscribers Organic agriculture, in disaster, awaits robust help from the State

” Brake on “

At the start of February, the group expressed its feeling of being one of many massive losers within the current farmers' mobilization. In addition to the insufficiency of the emergency fund, she criticizes the quite a few authorities bulletins, particularly on pesticides, which she sees as “environmental regressions”.

After a number of years of sustained progress, gross sales of natural merchandise, deemed dearer and competing with labels with much less demanding standards or native merchandise, started to say no in 2021. Sales in shops fell by 5% in 2022. “It’s a small reversal of trend that we hope will be temporary”, declared Jean Verdier, president of the Organic Agency. The newest barometer from this public physique liable for selling the sector, printed Wednesday, exhibits a “brake in the food transition”.

Health and environmental considerations, till now the primary motivation for natural consumption, are taking over much less significance within the minds of the 4,000 French individuals surveyed, who then again place extra worth on the pleasure of meals, in keeping with this barometer.

“We feel the fatigue of consumers who no longer turn the packages over to read the label”, estimates Laure Verdeau, director of the Organic Agency. The subsequent promotional campaigns ought to, in keeping with her, “focus on emotional charge and proximity”.

From natural to the menu

The figures usually are not but obtainable for 2023, however the sector fears a slight motion of “deconversion” of natural farmers, who now cowl 10.7% of the usable agricultural space in France, in the direction of typical. For natural milk, for instance, manufacturing fell by 4% in 2023 after virtually doubling since 2017, famous Pascal Le Brun, president of La Coopération Laitière on Monday. A 3rd of natural milk is at present bought by the standard sector. For the vice-president of the National Federation of Milk Producers, Samuel Bulot, “running out of organic milk in a few years would really be a failure”.


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The goal nonetheless stays for 18% of agricultural land to be allotted to natural farming in 2027, says Marc Fesneau's workplace. “If we are pragmatic, we can clearly see that 2024 will be a year of consolidation before a plateau and then a new upward start”, we add. With this in thoughts, the federal government additionally introduced on Wednesday the Ambition natural 2027 program, round three axes: stimulating demand, consolidating natural sectors, supporting farmers within the face of social and environmental points.

The authorities needs particularly to push canteens and well being institutions to achieve the 20% natural provide required by the EGalim legislation, and to encourage eating places so as to add natural to their menu.

Read additionally: Article reserved for our subscribers Organic farming, largely forgotten by the federal government's “whatever it takes”

The World with AFP

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