Rarely has the state been so attentive to calls for help from farmers. The “whatever the cost”, watchword of the French government in the early hours of the crisis due to Covid-19, three years ago, remains relevant for the agricultural sector. The year 2022 provided a perfect illustration of this, and 2023 seems to be starting under the same auspices. With one exception, however, that of organic farming. In crisis for almost two years, it has come up against the wall of indifference from the government of Elisabeth Borne.
Before the Agricultural Show, which opens its doors from February 25 to March 5, at the Porte de Versailles, in Paris, the moment is often favorable to put pressure on the Rue de Varenne. The wine sector thus obtained sounding and stumbling pledges, on February 6th. The vineyards of Bordeaux and Languedoc, victims of overproduction, wanted to reduce their stocks. They won an envelope of 160 million euros to distil their surplus red, even rosé. A measure that will also benefit cellars or winegrowers from other regions who request it.
In addition, Bordeaux, faced with the structural drop in sales of its bottles in supermarkets and the downturn in the Chinese market, wants to uproot 10% of its vines. Even if the amount of the operation has not yet been quantified by the ministry, the tools necessary to obtain subsidies are on the table. It should be noted that in 2020, in the midst of the crisis linked to Covid-19, the wine sector had already obtained 160 million euros to distil surpluses.
End of neonicotinoids, avian flu, swine crisis
On February 7, an armada of tractors invaded the Esplanade des Invalides in Paris. A stone’s throw from the National Assembly and a step from the Ministry of Agriculture. At the head of this event organized by the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions, beet growers. Following the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union to prohibit any derogation for the use of neonicotinoids, a so-called “bee killer” insecticide, on beets, they asked for an aid plan in case of attack of jaundice, transmitted by aphids, in the fields this year.
The next day, the Minister of Agriculture, Marc Fesneau, assured that the State would compensate for any drop in production in the sector in the event of hazards. The public authorities had compensated beet growers up to 60 million euros in 2020, during a previous jaundice crisis.
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