Rising energy prices: warning from French organic producers

The drought has already had a strong impact on the volume of the harvests, but French groups of 100% organic producers are now faced with two new major difficulties: the sharp increase in energy costs and the renewal of electricity contracts based on outlandish rates, with renegotiation periods that are way too short.

In order to harvest, receive, sort, sometimes process, and preserve their productions, the cereal, fruit and vegetable sectors have invested in facilities that comply with the health and environmental standards. The cost of electricity for these facilities has been multiplied by 3 for fruit and vegetable growers and sometimes by 5 for cereal producers, which is an additional 30 to 40€ [29.6 to 39.4 USD] for each ton.

For the organic producers of conservation crops, which will only be marketed in the spring, cold rooms are essential to store the fruit and vegetables safely. Some producers are considering changing their storage strategy by selling immediately as they can no longer afford these energy costs. 

Some cereal producers are considering reducing their activity, and even closing some silos, in order to survive. In the short term, the rise in energy costs causes a reduction in storage and conservation capacities, but it will eventually pose a risk in terms of food sovereignty in France.

For the groups, passing the higher energy costs onto the nearly 1,000 producers is not acceptable. But their clients, processors of organic raw materials, are already affected by these increases and cannot take on the higher costs.

All actors of the sector are concerned. It is the future of the organic sector that is at stake, although the public authorities have been investing for years to develop the organic sector in France. 

French public authorities must immediately support all companies of the organic sector that have been working hard, for over 30 years, to develop responsible and sustainable organic agriculture in France. The survival of our producers, economic operators and the entire organic sector is at stake.

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