Agrifood business is of great importance for the French economic growth and employs almost 6% of the French population. France is the 4th largest exporter of agricultural and agrifood products and has to face new upcoming challenges. At the end of 2013, the Ministry for Agriculture asked for a strategic reflection on the direction that agricultural and agrifood sectors should take for 2025.
In a press conference on February 19th, Stephane Le Foll, French Minister for Agriculture, Food Industry and Forestry, and Guillaume Garot, French Minister for Agrifood presented the priorities for the agriculture and agrifood industry for 2025. The global orientation of these priorities is geared at improving the competitiveness of the whole sector from production to processing and commercialization.
Six major issues were identified as needing the establishment of specific strategies, among which:
- Adapting the French supply to market evolution: exportation is to be reinforced and French products must adapt to international market diversity
- Being better armed against market volatility: the development of tools to better evaluate markets and to have a better risk coverage is essential within the context of globalization where markets are becoming more and more open
- Investing in modernization and innovation for enterprises: the goal is to modernize all the links of each sector to achieve economic and environmental performance, and to support research to encourage innovation
- Creating and reinforcing collaborations and exchanges within the supply chain, and building more partnerships between connected sectors: cooperation between all the stakeholders of food sectors allows for the development of a more powerful organization and for more efficient communication and negotiation
- Strengthening coordination between state and regional actions: state programs must be adapted to regional aspects to be more efficient
The aforementioned issues should also aim to reach better environmental and social performance (reduction of green-house gases emissions, farmers’ new expectancies with regards to living standards). A national document will be written in the next few months to establish standards with which each public or private stakeholder should effectively comply. Each sector (pork, beef, fruit, tobacco…) should have its own respective plan.