At the closing of a meeting on organic agriculture in France, Stéphane Travert, French Minister of Agriculture, unveiled the completed Organic Ambition 2022 plan, announced earlier this year.
The plan is a more complete version of a roadmap released this spring, and is organized around seven major axes. Here is summary of the overall approach to encouraging organic agriculture in France:
Axe 1: Develop production to reach 15% of agricultural surface area dedicated to organic agriculture
This goal, coming out of the Estates-General for Food, is to make France one of the leading nations in agroecology on the planet. In order to achieve this goal, more visibility and tools will be given to organic agricultural producers, as well as to those who wish to transition to organic agriculture. Apart from financial help, technical and environmental expertise will also be made available.
Axe 2: Organize the industry
Currently provided with 4 million euros, the Organic Future fund will be increased to 6 million euros by 2018 and progressively increased to 8 million euros by 2022, and will aim to:
- Develop security tools for all actors in the industry, including in institutional catering (contracting, industry contract agreements, dialogue tools, best practice guides)
- Identify priorities in terms of territorial production to develop a balance between supply and demand
- Develop within Agence Bio, the French agency in charge of organic products, a shared information system between all parties (including at regional level) in order to improve market knowledge of organic production in the territory by industry as well as European and international markets
- Pursue work with interbranchorganizations to put in place industry plans established as part of the Estates-General of Food, while ensuring coherence in strategies between industries, all while taking into account questions related to animal welfare and biodiversity.
Axe 3: Increase consumption and demand for organic products for all consumers, including for poor and at-risk populations
Beyond the objective of having 20% organic products in institutional catering by 2022, a common desire of organic actors is to encourage demand in commercial and institutional food services. To meet this challenge, new promotional programs of the entire organic sector will be carried out by Agence Bio with the help of the interbranch associations.
Promotional actions will also be put in place for increased exports of organic products to destinations that present opportunities for growth.
Axe 4: Strengthen research
Research programs dedicated to organic throughout the entire production process will be developed with the help of Regions and associated agencies.
Axe 5: Train actors
One of the keys to the success of the organic agriculture of tomorrow is training, whether it be in agricultural high schools or as part of continuing education. New tools and pedagogical support will be made available through the existing dedicated network to develop training in organic agriculture.
Axe 6: Adapt regulations
From January 2021 on, the new European regulation on organic products will apply, that will encourage the development of the sector while providing guarantees to consumers. One of the missions of Agence Bio and its partners will be to inform actors and the public about the regulations and to ensure their proper implementation.
Axe 7: Organic agriculture in overseas territories
A large part of the work will be to integrate organic agriculture in France’s overseas territories: implementing a governance structure that is well adapted to different conditions of each territory, dedicated meetings, and working groups on specific themes, such as organizing markets, regulations, and research needs will be developed.