In the Marais Poitevin, opposition to the agricultural mannequin is making its manner into the countryside | EUROtoday

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Under the stifling solar of this finish of June, they graze peacefully within the shade. The fifty Prim'Holstein and brown cows of the Bois des Moines farm, in Benon (Charente-Maritime) have at their disposal 70 hectares of huge meadows and lengthy rows of timber to chill off, however their breeder, Pierre-Henri Dubois, isn’t at peace: regardless of 100% grass-fed manufacturing, an on-site milk processing workshop, and quite a lot of direct gross sales, the 40-year-old dairy farmer has been in receivership because the finish of 2022, an more and more widespread process for struggling farms.

Established for twelve years, first along with his twin brother, then alone, the breeder transformed to natural in 2017, extra out of alternative than conviction. “What interested us was to be autonomous”, he explains. The breeder then anticipated new shops after the vote of the primary EGalim legislation, in 2018, setting a goal of 20% natural merchandise in orders for varsity canteens.

But six years later, the outcomes are blended: EGalim's goals are removed from being achieved – in Charente-Maritime, lower than 10% of the merchandise served in canteens are natural – and Pierre-Henri Dubois feels that orders are too random, and competitors between farmers too powerful. The multiplication of crises – Covid-19, conflict in Ukraine, inflation, document drought in 2022 – additional weakens the construction. Even if a few of its merchandise are bought by way of quick circuits, half of its milk goes to the native dairy cooperative, in standard butter, and the farmer retains barely 900 euros monthly in wage.

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In the center of the legislative marketing campaign, the candidate of the New Popular Front (NFP) within the 2e Charente-Maritime constituency, environmentalist Benoît Biteau assures that he has solutions to provide to Mr. Dubois: “Agriculture must be profitable, with a common agricultural policy [PAC] more justsays the trained agronomist, who took over the family farm in Sablonceaux, in the south of the department, at the age of 40. And we need payments for the environmental services that farmers provide us, which policies have failed to implement so far. »

Although he was wearing a black T-shirt with the Young Farmers logo that day, Pierre-Henri Dubois no longer belonged to a union and did not want to get involved in petty quarrels, much less political ones. He merely let it be known that he respected Benoît Biteau for his commitments, and that his vote on Sunday would not go “to the extremes”.

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