The European Farm to Fork strategy, a variation of the European Green Deal, directly endangers the French fruit and vegetable industry. Its objectives (25% of agricultural land in organic farming, a 50% decrease in the use of pesticides and veterinary antibiotics, and a 20% decrease in the use of fertilizers) are designed to serve a decreasing vision of agriculture, falsely favorable to the environment. The Collectif Sauvons les Fruits et Légumes de France invites not only producers but also consumers to mobilize for OUR agriculture and OUR food, which are directly endangered by the European Commission through this grotesque plan.
A legislative process devoid of a clear understanding of the consequences of the Farm to Fork policy
While the European legislative work on the Farm to Fork strategy started in early 2021, the evaluation study of this same strategy by the European Commission's own services (JRC - Joint Research Centre) allowing MEPs to vote with full knowledge of its (disastrous) economic and environmental effects has been deliberately withheld: it was only unveiled at the end of July 2021, just before the summer vacations. The adoption of the Farm to Fork strategy by the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee at the beginning of September 2021, and then by all the MEPs in October, was done almost blindly.
A situation of food dependency for Europe
The outlook given by the European Commission's study is cause for concern for both farmers and consumers. It forecasts a 13% drop in cereal production, a 7% drop in fruit and vegetable production, a 12% drop in dairy products, and a 15% drop in cattle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is hardly suspected of wanting the good of European agriculture, has itself published an analysis of the consequences of the Farm to Fork strategy. What did it conclude? A 17% increase in the cost of food in Europe, which is unbearable for European consumers already suffocated by inflation.
A much worse impact for France
The alert launched in 2019 by Senator Laurent Duplomb of the Haute-Loire is confirmed year after year: France is "a world agricultural champion", which will lose its position in the short term.
Excluding wines and spirits, our agricultural trade balance is already deficient. And this deficit continues to grow: - 4.7 billion euros in 2020 and - 3.2 billion euros for fruits and vegetables. Last July, the French High Commission in charge of planning reminded us that "more than half of the fruit and vegetables consumed in France are imported, including exotic fruit and vegetables, compared to about a third 20 years ago". Thanks to Farm to Fork and the very French habit of over-transposing European standards, it is likely that tomorrow we will import ¾ of the fruits and vegetables we consume.
A zero environmental impact
According to the JRC's European study, two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions "saved" by the new European agricultural practices will simply be "exported". In other words, the practices that we do not want to implement in Europe because of our good ecological conscience, we will export them! The result for the planet is nonexistent or worse. Is this the ecology of tomorrow?
An absurdity in the context of the Ukrainian crisis
If we take the best of all worlds as envisioned by ecological NGOs at face value, everyone should produce what they need and exports should be banned. Producing what we need means not entrusting our agriculture to others, the exact opposite of Farm to Fork, which leads to the reinforcement of our food dependency.
The initial implementation of the plan is a joke
On June 22, the European Commission presented its proposal for a regulation on the "sustainable use of pesticides". Directly resulting from the Farm to Fork strategy, this project imposes a 50% reduction in the use of phytosanitary products for all European countries. The explanatory memorandum brushes aside the issue of yield losses, raised by agricultural organizations since 2020, under the pretext of progressive application of these changes.
Article 18 of the draft regulation also calls for a ban on plant protection treatments in Natura 2000 areas, with a few extremely limited exceptions. This provision, which is completely off-limits, directly threatens thousands of hectares of tree and vegetable crops.
If Farm to Fork has been adopted despite all warnings and in the absence of all elements allowing legislators to understand its true nature, the Collectif Sauvons les Fruits et Légumes de France believes that there is still time to stop its implementation via legal texts (regulations) that will be discussed in the coming months. The petition launched via the website www.sauvonslesfruitsetlegumes.fr is one of the ways for producers and consumers to make their voices heard.
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Collectif Sauvons les Fruits et Légumes de France