With more than 3,000 organic farms registered in the first half of 2017, French producers account for 6.5% of the agricultural area (1.77 million hectares). This rise is not unexpected in light of the French consumption of organic products or 7 billion euros in 2016. Supply and demand are therefore well-established.
Yet despite these encouraging figures, organic producers are faced with a major problem: What about subsidies!
Problem 1 – Late payment of subsidies since 2015
Effectively, the subsidies have not been paid since 2015! Despite these encouraging figures, organic producers are facing a major problem: subsidies have not been paid since 2015! It would appear that the main reason is the poor organization of the management of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The OSIRIS software which allows the processing of EAFRD aid requests has not been implemented in time in the regions since the start of the 2014-2020 programming. Farmers therefore had to make bank loans and / or receive cash advances from the State in order to ensure the survival of their commercial activity.
Problem 2 – Decrease in the EAFRD subsidy rate
Some regions, such as New Aquitaine, have consumed a large part of their EAFRD envelope dedicated to aid in the conversion and maintenance of the organic sector.
And in order to meet the constant demand from farmers and fulfill their commitments, these regions have chosen to reduce the amounts and rates of EAFRD aid. This makes it even more difficult for farmers and create distortion between them from one regions or from other regions.
Problem 3 – Disappearance of state aid to the maintenance of the BIO
“It is up to the market to support the maintenance of organic farming” – according to Mr. Stéphane Travert, Minister of Agriculture
The government had decided that the national aid granted to farmers for the “maintenance of the organic sector” in addition to the EAFRD aid will be abolished under the guise of budgetary constraint.
Another hard blow for farmers.
Current and alternative solutions found …
During the “Etats généraux de l’Alimentation” that took place yesterday, the President has reaffirmed an electoral commitment to reach “50% of organic or local products before 2022 in collective catering”. The objective is to adjust production scheme in France and to stimulate agriculture and agribusiness.
Concerning to the EAFRD, the payment of aid should return to normal by July 2018 ….
To cover the reduction of national aid, provision is made for the transfer of 4.2% of the appropriations from the first pillar of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) to the organic aids of Pillar II …
Let us trust the consumers on the importance of the bio in our plates …