In 2012, in order to promote an recognize the actions on environment by some farmers and ranchers, the French Government, designed, in consultation with all the stakeholder in environment and agriculture, a voluntary system, certified by independent third parties, the High Environmental Value (HEV): the system consists of three tiers, to reflect a more a more stringent engagement of the farm toward reducing the environmental impact of the agricultural activity, in particular to protect biodiversity. The highest tier, level 3, authorizes the farmer to have a HEV logo apposed on the labelling of the food product made in the farm, or from the products of the farm. This logo is a signal for the consumer that the product he buys has a low environmental impact.
During the International Agricultural Show in Paris, the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food announced that 5,399 farms have been certified as part of level 3 of the HEV program. This number confirms the enthusiasm for this program and the willingness of farmers to get involved in the agro-ecological transition.
A roundtable dedicated to the HEV program took place at the Paris International Agricultural Show Feb. 26, and was an opportunity to illustrate the commitment of the agricultural industry. This demonstrated that the HEV program is becoming increasingly recognized by different actors throughout the agricultural supply chain: From producer to distributor to processor.
The development of HEV demonstrates the willingness of agricultural industries to efficiently meet new societal expectation in terms of respecting the environment. More and more products coming from HEV certified farms are offered to consumers in their regular shopping locations.
This tool is more and more recognized and sought-after, was an ambition of the Estates General of Food and is fully a part of the goals set in the Biodiversity plan: to attain 15,000 HEV level 3-certified farms in 2022, then 50,000 in 2030.