On Friday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food unveiled to representatives of the sectors the new version of the National Strategic Plan. Previously challenged by Brussels, the national version of the Common Agricultural Policy responds in particular to the criticisms made of France’s lack of ambition in terms of support for organic farming.
At a time when the consumption of organic products is marking time, the Court of Auditors shares this observation in a report made public this same Friday. Pointing out the fact that the objectives for organic agricultural land and the share of organic in public canteens on 1 January 2022 have not been achieved, the independent court makes a series of recommendations that it considers necessary with regard to the new objectives set by the European Union: “France must give itself the means for its ambition”, write the magistrates.
A first answer
For the Court, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food “undersized the aid for conversion and maintenance in organic farming, between 2015 and 2020.” Hence the need to reallocate public aid to organic. The eco-scheme intended to make part of the CAP aid conditional on measures to adapt to climate change is now valued at an additional 30 euros per hectare for organic farming.
A way of clarifying the impact of organic, also for the consumer, faced with the proliferation of certifications. The Court was thus heard in its call to raise the level of requirement of the High environmental value, to the great regret of the FNSEA.
“What is extremely important to us is highlighting all the societal benefits of organic farming. We must not only look at organic for a question of price on the shelf, ”underlines Julien Sauvée, the president of the Regional Federation of Organic Agriculture. The report mentions the small part of the State budget devoted to organic farming (€35 million in 2020), given the cost of treating nitrogen and pesticide flows (€540 to €970 million annually).
Research and contracting
Support for the sector also involves reinvestment in the issue by inter-professional organizations and research, considers the court. One of the challenges in this area is to provide a response in terms of food self-sufficiency, in view of the lower yields of organic products which could however “be compensated by a reduction in waste. »
While the growth crisis in organic milk production has not been the subject of any public support plan, the court finally calls for contractualization between producers, processors and distributors, “for fair compensation and better regulation of supply and demand. »
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