Guaranteeing to all a healthy, safe, sustainable, high-quality and local food supply is one of the goals of the French government and meets the high expectations of French citizens. To succeed in this ambition, it is necessary to speed up the agroecological transition of the French agriculture and food systems to ensure a better recognition of the services provided by agriculture.
Environmental and climate issues are major in agriculture (maintain biodiversity, managing and preserving water and soil quality resources, adapting to climate change, etc.). Meeting these challenges requires transitioning the agricultural model toward more resilient agroecological models, a transition that France must speed up. The importance of France’s food sovereignty and the demands for local products expressed both in the course of the health crisis by citizens have done nothing but confirm this need.
It is first about aiding the development of production systems with less environmental impact. This change can only fully fulfil its objectives if farmers who are voluntarily engaging in organic, “High Environmental Quality” or other sign of quality or origin, or more generally agroecology, have the tools they need to enhance the value of their approaches, and have opportunities to enhance the value of their efforts. In addition, it is also important to invest in certain agroecological tools of the production systems, such as the preservation and recovery of hedges.
It is also about relocalizing agricultural production by encouraging the development of industries fully anchored in their communities, particularly through local supply chains and building new relations throughout the chain between producers and consumers. It is about recognizing the particular role played by actors in the social solidarity-based economy in providing access for all to sustainable, quality and local food.
The health crisis has demonstrated consumer expectations in terms of relocalizing their food: shortening the distance between places of production, processing and marketing and the place of consumption. Local food supply chains are a way to achieve this goal, but also to redevelop jobs in communities and to reduce the environmental impact of the food system.