It has been close to three months since the launch of the Estates-General of Food, which brings together all of the actors of the agricultural and food industries in France in order to lay out policies of the future. This week, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, gave an important speech laying out his priorities and vision for food in France, to conclude the first part of those Estates focused on business relations along the food chain. The second part, which will deal with citizen and consumer expectations’ regarding agriculture and food, starts in the days to come.
The goal of the government is to promote a price negotiation system between farmers and food industry that assures that farmers can sell their products at a price taking into account their actual production cost. President Macron also wishes that food agriculture and industry organize into sector-specific trade associations bringing together all actors of each individual part of the food industry and defining mid-term strategic options.
Here’s a summary of the key points President Macron highlighted during his speech to the food summit:
- Rebalancing price negotiations between farmers and distribution
- Defining for each sector-specific trade association goals and commitments for the next five-year period to better address consumer expectations, environmental challenges and to answer market opportunities
- Conditioning the planned investment aid of 5 billion euros on the establishment of these trade associations goals
- Aiming for 50% share of organic or local products by 2022 for food in institutional catering (hospitals, schools, day cares, etc.)
- Conditioning certain services on the establishment of trade associations, in a give-and-take approach toward the agricultural sector
“We have to allow farmers to leave the dependence of aid through fairer prices, we must then have a better distribution of wealth to the benefit of farmers,” the president’s office indicated. “We do not want a two-speed food system, but a system that gives all French people access to high-quality food.”