The French National Institute of Origin and Quality recently released its annual report outlining data on agricultural signs of quality and origin for the year 2016. Revenue, production volumes, wine exports, the number of products recognized… These data allow to have a global vision of the economic activities of the industries on agricultural products under official labels of quality (geographical indications, organic products), and of their evolution in comparison to 2015. The report noted that in 2016, there were more than 1,100 products protected by official signs of quality and origin, not including organic products. This includes 361 wines, 17 types of spirits, and 50 dairy products, among others.

In 2016, alcoholic beverages (primarily wines, spirits, and ciders) benefitting from protected designation of origin status amounted to nearly 20 billion euros in revenue, a 4% increase in comparison to 2015. And among food products, the nearly 250 products under protected designation of origin or protected geographical indication made up approximately 4% of all food product revenue in France, amounting to nearly 4 billion euros in revenue, a nearly 9% increase over 2015.

Organic agricultural products also showed their growing importance to consumers. Nearly 35,000 producers and more than 10,000 processors in France are involved in organic agriculture. This field generates about 4% of the revenue generated in the entire agriculture industry in France, or about 4.2 billion euros – which is more than 22% higher than in 2015.

©Pascal Xicluna/Min.Agri.Fr

By far the most important sector are wines, both in terms of volume and in terms of market share. More than 33 billion liters of wine were produced under some form of a geographical indication in France in 2016, representing 70% of the market share. Other products that represent a large part of the market share include ducks and geese used in the production of foie gras at more than 50% and fishery and aquaculture products at around 40%. Protected wines, despite seeing a slight decrease in overall production volume due to poor weather, grew by approximately 5% in total value in 2016 over 2015, while fishery products grew by a whopping 20%, spirits and ciders at 6%, and fruits and vegetables at around 12%.

These figures show the growing importance that signs of quality or origin have in French agriculture. These signs recognize time-tested traditions by putting in place strict rules governing agricultural production of these products that respect tradition and the knowledge of producers. This helps increase value to farmers and ensures higher quality products that have a deep connection to their place of production, both through history and geography.