Young girl eating
2 September 2020

European agriculture: France’s priorities for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the “Farm to Fork” strategy  

On 1 September 2020, the Minister of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie, travelled to Koblenz (Germany) to attend the Informal Meeting of EU Agriculture Ministers at the invitation of the German Presidency. Top of the agenda at this Informal Meeting were the lessons to be drawn from the Covid-19 health crisis for the farming and agri-food sector and the key issue of informing consumers about the origin of products and animal welfare amid the roll-out of the European “Farm to Fork” strategy.
 
At this meeting, the Minister highlighted the importance of self-sufficiency in food production at European level, which depends on:
  • smooth operation of the single market ;
  • securing supplies ;
  • building the strategic independence of such sectors as plant proteins.
He also reiterated the store that he sets by the legitimate information that consumers are entitled to expect, in terms of both the origin of foodstuffs and their ingredients, and the animals’ rearing conditions and welfare. The Minister advocated a harmonised approach at European level, allowing for consumers to make informed choices.

France’s priorities regarding the CAP

During bilateral meetings, Julien Denormandie underscored France’s priorities for the CAP reform:
  • the environmental ambition of the future CAP, which must be grounded in criteria common to all Member States to avoid any distortion of competition associated with production methods;
  • development of protein-rich crops by leveraging coupled support;
  • maintenance of the system of vine planting authorisations beyond 2030, in a bid to raise the profile of producers. The Minister asked the other EU Ministers in attendance to take up the subject in keeping with the proposals already set out by the European Parliament.
He also held discussions with a panel of young farmers, wine growers and women representing an association of women in rural settings about Franco-German cooperation and the expectations of the farming world for the future. He particularly pointed out that "generational renewal and support for new entrants taking up farming are a priority for France".