A major series of roundtable talks, discussions and 14 working groups on the French food and agriculture industry will commence later this month, led by French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert. An investment plan of five billion euros over a period of five years will be launched at the completion of these important meetings.
“The agricultural world must transform itself, and the world of distribution must do so along with it,” French President Emmanuel Macron said when announcing the beginning of the talks. The discussions are called les Etats-généraux de l’alimentation in French, referring to the historical Estates-General, which were exceptional assemblies bringing together representatives of all parts of French society to discuss issues of extreme national importance. “We are going to encourage producers to come together to sell together and that, industry by industry, we will find the organization that will allow for each and every person to have a real share in the added value,” Macron added.
The goal of these roundtable discussions is to chart a future course for the agriculture and food industry in France while assuring that farmers and food industry workers get a fair salary, while respecting the environment. Debates will also be launched that will evoke multiple subjects of interest to citizens, including the impact of the food industry on health and environmental issues related to agriculture.
For the first sequence, focused on sharing the added value along the food chain, eight working groups will be created that will offer reports this fall. They will be composed of farmers’ representatives, industry workers, and representatives of agriculture companies, consumer associations, cooperatives, researchers, and many others.
Mr. Travert has held several preparatory meetings leading up to the commencement of these roundtable discussions, including with leaders of food distribution and grocery companies, researchers, and organizations representing young farmers and the organic food industry. This is an inter-ministerial effort, being organized alongside the Environmental and Sustainable Development Ministry and the Ministry of Health.