The French Minister of Agriculture, Agrifood and Forestry Stéphane Le Foll visited the United States from June 24th to June 29th. His tightly packed agenda included many meetings with US Agricultural officials on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and events involving international organizations, researchers, farmers and NGOs.
At one of such events – a conference hosted by the World Bank – Minister Stéphane Le Foll introduced The “4‰” Initiative which refers to the fact that an annual 4‰ worldwide growth rate of the carbon stock in soil would compensate for the annual C02 anthropogenic emissions, or 75% of greenhouse emissions. By promoting better carbon management in agricultural practices, the project consists of increasing carbon sequestration in soils with the dual aim of preventing soil degradation and mitigating climate change. This initiative will be introduced at the 21st Conference of Parties on Climate Change, taking place in Paris in December to address the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Within the scope of the issue of climate change and agriculture, Minister Stéphane Le Foll visited Columbus, Ohio, where a conference on carbon sequestration in soils was organized by the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at the Ohio University State. The Minister also traveled to Carroll Ohio to meet local vegetable farmer David Brandt, who incorporates innovative carbon sequestration strategies into his farming practices.
After leaving Ohio, Minister Le Foll went to New York City to inaugurate the French Companies taking part in the annual Summer Fancy Food Show. This is North America’s Largest Specialty Food and Beverage Exhibition of Food Products; it gathers 2,400 exhibitors from 50 countries & regions, promoting the diversity and quality of agrifood products.
While in New York City, Minister Stéphane Le Foll signed a resolution of partnership between the six cities forming the Urban School Food Alliance (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Orlando) and French Inter-Branch Association for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Interfel. This partnership is to thank for the successful implementation of Interfel’s first annual Fresh attitude week in American public schools this past May. Modeled off of Interfel’s la semaine Fraîch’Attitude, Fresh Attitude Week is a five-day series of curricular events, activities and menus aiming to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among American youth. France has seen great success with Interfel’s event since its inauguration over ten years ago, and the USFA hopes to further develop this trend via the resolution of partnership signed on June 30, 2015.