Cherry, 700 kilos, the mascot of the 2016 edition of the Agricultural Fair, pouts on the official poster. To believe that the organizers had anticipated the bad atmosphere in which opens the Paris High Mass of the agricultural world, on 27 February. This cow bazadaise race, gray dress and melancholy look, symbolizes that moved through the farm France. Cherry is a survivor. Cow Bazas nearly disappeared in the last few years, when we could not understand the interest of raising meat breeds, as he seemed so much more profitable to flood the stalls of butchers ‘beef’ that is to say, cows, mostly Holstein, late career.
the crisis of mad cow lasagna ore, health scandals have been there, and today, consumers, distributors, merchants burgers themselves swear by these breeds such as Charolais, bazadaise or less known to the sluggish profitability, it takes several years to raise and feed without even get milk before being paid for his efforts.
the beef industry has experienced such a crisis that his organization is found, and though a lot of certainties have been swept away. Quality, traceability, terroirs came out winners. Butchers stars, arrived after the crisis, enjoyed unprecedented audience when they pleaded for a new use, more frugal, and for prices to rise, pulling the broader market up.
the pig industry and the milk producers have not experienced such a development. Their incomes below will allow them more to pay their expenses. It is they who show since the summer, and organize the blocking of transactions in the market Plérin dial (Côtes d’Armor). They even invaded the Rennes area and part of the UK on February 17, and will raise the pressure until the opening of the Exhibition. “I saw a lot of demonstrations by farmers, but those that shake western France since the beginning of 2016 takes place in a unique atmosphere. We see people in tears, and it is not due to tear gas, “ demonstrates the agent of a chamber of agriculture in Brittany. Pig farmers are asking that we buy their meat at 1.40 euro per kilo price, when our German and Spanish neighbors are flooding the market of meat already cut to less than 1 euro. As for dairy farmers, they need to develop their production to 450 euros for 1000 liters, but do sell only 280 euros on average. “Unable to pay the installments to repay loans: 20% of the Great West farms will have to put the key under the door,” alarm Bernard Lannes, president of the Rural Coordination
the penultimate Fair mandate of François Hollande promises to be explosive. Anxious to defuse a traditionally favorable sequence in the popularity rating of the head of state position, the president has made concessions February 11, the evening of the cabinet reshuffle, announcing decline and postponement of social security contributions, but leaving Manuel Valls care to announce the details in the following days, and promising that Stéphane Le Foll convince the European Ministers of Agriculture to find common solutions in Brussels. “This is primarily an economic crisis, as a result of the general decline of world prices of raw materials. It is aggravated by an economic crisis for milk, with the increase in production in Europe after the end of milk quotas. And amplified, for pork, the Russian sanitary embargo “ describes clinically, Prime Minister in West France on 18 February.
He announced the immediate decline of 7 points of payroll taxes for all farmers, the establishment of “social lost year” that is to say, the postponement of the payment of contributions for all peasants who have achieved a very low income in 2015. “the postponement of all social contributions in 2016 will be renewable for up to three years without any action on the farmer without penalty or default interest. “ These ads are more generous than that demanded the FNSEA, the president Xavier Beulin called the troops quiet, without being really listened: ” The Prime Minister has made resolutions and commitments, and I salute. Many of my colleagues would not bet on this outcome. We have to do the teaching. “
The anger still rumbles and many voices calling for a boycott of the Agricultural Fair, as generous as it is, the envelope of 500 million euros the government does solve anything, and advocacy Stéphane Le Foll Brussels has not moved its partners. The crisis is deeper. “Farmers are frustrated by the weight of absurd standards,” shows Isabelle Saporta, author of Foutez us peace! (ed. Albin Michel), which lists numerous red tape, the size of the tiles in dairies to unnecessary health checks.
Another reason for anger, culpable lack of preparation at the end of the common agricultural Policy. “Domestic production was protected for decades, Analysis Michel Portier, an economist and director of Agritel. We fell asleep and insufficiently prepared for globalization and market volatility. “ Many operators initially thought they would release satisfactory income by expanding the size of their farms. They went into debt to invest in equipment they are unable to repay with ongoing low.
“The race for size is certainly not the answer, analysis Christophe Lopez, associated with Weave cabinet. But it is absolutely necessary to organize in the French breeding industry a strong and united around its major groups and cooperatives, as exists in the sector of oilseed with the group in April, or in grains with bellows. “ According to this expert, the State must take the matter to defend our national champions, like the automobile. “The political stakes are high, the superpowers of tomorrow will be those who will be able to provide answers to the global food challenge. They are hunger riots that sparked the “Arab Spring”. “
Even more serious, producers, obsessed by their difficulties in exercising in a context of increasingly constrained, they forgot to observe consumer expectations. The domestic market is not fully satisfied. The organic sector is not enough to meet growing demand. “The traceability desired by the vast majority of French is far from true, notes Christiane Lambert, Vice President of the FNSEA. Reading labels does not know where do the ingredients of processed products, or to know the animal feed. “
Route of excellence
The fault for manufacturers and distributors who do not like to admit they keep prices low by buying supplies in Asia while their customers prefer french products. “But France, with its temperate climate, is protected from weather disasters, it has everything to dominate the global market,” says Michel Portier. “We are the most innovative countries in the food world. It would just encourage many startups who imagine eating tomorrow, and build bridges with these large groups who are struggling to create new products, “ pleads Christophe Lopez. According to him, there is a way of excellence in French that would allow healthier products, more rooted in their traditions and their land to be bought a little more expensive than their international competitors, without seeking to target the limited market high end.
the great wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy are only a small minority of the French wine production, but their image hoisted the entire production up. A model that could inspire other sectors. Pending its agricultural start, rural France multiplies worrying signs (union disengagement, political radicalization …), the political class seems to misunderstand. The ministers and elected officials who are preparing to make the trip Porte de Versailles in their interest to provide new answers.
Trade negotiations nearing completion and, even more this year, suppliers denounce pressures distributors, in turn undermining farmers. February 12, Stéphane Le Foll and Emmanuel Macron demanded proposals for retail, which annoys: already 98% of fresh pork sold in Carrefour’s French, 100% of Auchan milk. Serge Papin, U System CEO exclaims: “We were the first to create tripartite contracts with producers and manufacturers. “ These agreements are increasing, such as the one announced in January by Auchan with LSDH and dairy producers APLBC. Leclerc is committed not to lower its prices on the French dairy products. More engaging than these individual initiatives, the 100 million that the six distributors of the Trade Federation will bring to a fund for the pig farmers, or signature by seven distributors of milk charter of values of the NPFL. Rest to industrial to pass on the price paid to producers.