Does France import 50% of its annual consumption? – Digital Fashion Native

Historically, France has always been a great agricultural country. However, today, 50% of the French people’s annual consumption is imported.

The country, which once was the 2th world exporter of agricultural products, currently finds itself in the 5th place (within 20 years).

According to the latest Senate report, the agricultural sector is in full decline. This decline in the sector’s potential is very remarkable, especially if we refer to the country’s deficit agricultural trade balance.

What are the possible causes of this phenomenon? What are the solutions proposed by the Senate?

The import rate of agricultural products is increasing: the main reasons

In 2021, according to INSEE, France imports agri-food products worth 46.1 billion euros. Apparently, this value continues to increase this year, because local agricultural products no longer meet the needs of the French population. Added to this is the systematic downgrading of agriculture.

The main agricultural products imported by France

The latest senatorial report shows that France now imports food to the tune of 63 billion euros. That is 2.2 times more than in 2000. The agri-food products most imported by France are:

  • Meat: half of the chicken meat consumed by French households is imported. France also imports 56% of sheep meat intended for consumption.
  • Vegetables: it is estimated that France imports 71% of fruit and 28% of vegetables intended for consumption.
  • Dairy products: in 2021, the country will import dairy products worth 2.71 billion euros. This value has increased by 5.96% compared to 2020. Currently, these figures are still increasing

Local agricultural products are expensive

It is not for nothing that 20% of a French person’s plate is imported from abroad. The implementation of the “upscaling” policy in France is causing the price of local products to rise. Indeed, this policy forces producers to switch to a less quantitative, highly qualitative mode of production.

Moreover, with the significant rise in energy prices, the costs of agricultural production increase accordingly. All this obviously leads to a significant increase in product prices. Which is not necessarily within the reach of the purchasing power of the French. Thus, the latter prefer to buy imported foodstuffs at low prices to feed themselves on a daily basis.

The agricultural sector is in full downgrading

Across Europe, a loss of 6.4 million farms is estimated by 2040. We can already see the truth of this fact in France. In just 10 years, France has lost around 100,000 farms, and 12% of its agricultural workers. Farms and operations also lose productivity and competitiveness.

  • The increase in producers’ costs (taxes, overtranspositions, etc.) is added to the additional costs generated by the “upscaling” policy.
  • Lack of investment in agribusiness
  • The weak defense of the state in free trade agreements

Improving France’s competitiveness on the agricultural market: the recommendations of the Senate report

In this context of war in Ukraine, it is essential to maintain food sovereignty. The State then turned to agricultural recovery and restoring France’s competitiveness on the agricultural products market. The State thus decides to make a call to consume French and introduces new programs to revive the agricultural sector. Indeed, it is imperative to regain its place on the agricultural market.

Thus, the 24 solutions proposed by the Senate in the report are mainly oriented towards improving support for farmers and operators, accelerating the transition to agroecology, conquering and reconquering markets, as well as protecting French agriculture.

In order to implement all this, provisions have been put in place:

  • Appointment of a High Commissioner to steer the “Competitiveness 2028” plan: this appointment is fundamental for France’s competitiveness. So a political priority.
  • Control of production costs: the goal being to regain price competitiveness. To do this, labor costs must be reduced (without damaging the sector’s wage attraction). The administration must also contribute so as not to be a brake on competitiveness.
  • Boosting productivity growth in French agriculture: this means investing in agriculture to increase the number of farms (simplifying the extension or creation of production sites or applying the reform of the law of crop insurance, for example). At the same time, make France the Champion of agricultural innovation while respecting the environment.
  • Conquest of new markets and reconquest of the internal market: to win its place on external markets, France must reform export support and improve its brand image. In addition, to regain the internal market, it must revise its labeling method, introduce a stricter policy to control deception and promote the consumption of local products in canteens.
  • Protection of French agriculture from unfair competition: it is above all a question of applying the mirror clauses by controlling the entry of imported foodstuffs and updating the protection tools for imports.

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Does France import 50% of its annual consumption? – Digital Fashion Native

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