“Floor price”, “emergency cash flow”, meeting… Emmanuel Macron’s announcements

2024-02-24 16:05:53

A hectic first day. Booed and whistled upon his arrival, Emmanuel Macron went to meet farmers, on the occasion of the first day of the Agricultural Show, this Saturday, at the Parc des Expositions at Porte de Versailles in Paris.

The president began the day with a meeting with agricultural union leaders, from where he could not hear the deafening whistles of the demonstrators. He made several announcements to them which remain to be specified, including the creation of a “floor price” to better remunerate farmers, a census of farms requiring emergency cash flow aid, and the inclusion in the law that the Agriculture and food was “a major general interest of the French nation. » 20 Minutes takes stock of these announcements.

Implement floor prices

The Head of State formulated on Saturday at the Agricultural Show the objective “that we can achieve” “floor prices which will protect agricultural income”, as part of the preparation of a new law governing relationships between food stakeholders.

“The objective that I set for the work which was launched by the Prime Minister and his ministers, and in particular the parliamentary work, is that we can truly achieve these floor prices which will make it possible to protect agricultural income and “not to give in to all the most predatory practices which today are sacrificing our farmers and their income,” declared Emmanuel Macron at the end of an interview with agricultural union leaders at the very start of the day.

This “floor price” will be based on the agricultural production cost indicator on which each agricultural sector (poultry, milk, beef, etc.) had to agree to objectivize farmers’ production costs. “It’s the most engaging thing we’ve ever done, what we’re saying to each other,” said Emmanuel Macron.

An “emergency cash flow plan”

“Starting next week, the ministers here present with me (from Agriculture Marc Fesneau and the delegate minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher), with their colleague from the Economy and Finance (Bruno Le Maire), will bring together the banks and “also all sectors to be able to put these cash flow plans in place”.

“We will launch a census in each region of farms which are in the greatest cash flow difficulties to be able to support them,” he added.

Recognize agriculture and food in law

Emmanuel Macron announced that he wanted to recognize agriculture and food “as a major general interest” of France in the law.

As for the major general interest of agriculture, a source within the executive then simply explained that this meant “recognition of the strategic interest” of the sector, which “carries with legal consequences”.

The announcement caused a positive reaction from FNSEA members, such as Yohann Guedon, 48, a pig breeder in Charentes: “It’s real progress. This recognition is that of the legitimacy of our activity, of general interest, which protects us against small groups. A water reservoir project will be a priority, it is extremely important, because here, without water, we cannot produce. »

A meeting with trade union organizations

The president also announced this Saturday that he would bring together in three weeks at the Elysée “all trade union organizations, all agricultural sectors” to try to respond to the anger of farmers.


The president reiterated his desire to avoid a pesticide being banned in France before the rest of the European Union, to avoid distortions of competition. To do this, he wants the French health agency Anses, which is independent, to remain aligned with the European calendar and therefore not decree a ban in France before its neighbors. Bans are generally motivated by imperatives to protect human health and the environment.

In 2014, Emmanuel Macron emphasized, “I was not there, but there was a law which entrusted powers that were in the Ministry of Agriculture to Anses”. “Anses works on a scientific basis (…) and therefore it makes decisions which are then imposed on the administration. (…) I can’t do anything about it (…) and so we take back power by saying ”We’re doing it at the European level,” he said.

He also said he wanted to look at the possibility of “reopening at European level” banned molecules, without explaining what he meant.

Right to make mistakes

Among multiple government commitments on the simplification of standards and the relaxation of controls, Emmanuel Macron also told farmers that he wanted to extend the “right to make mistakes” to the agricultural world, “which we do not have managed to do so far”, due in particular to restrictions linked to EU law and environmental standards. An LR bill from MP Anne-Laure Blin exists in this sense.

“The right to make mistakes, I think it’s also quite simple, it’s to say when I do something stupid, once they advise me, they help me to correct it. If I do it twice, I’m cheating. »

Do not “paint a catastrophist portrait”

Recognizing sectoral “difficulties”, Emmanuel Macron nevertheless called on farmers on Saturday, during a debate at the Salon de la Profession, not to “draw a catastrophic portrait” of the situation because “the French farm remains strong”.

“Farm France, it is wrong to say that it is falling apart,” said the Head of State, during an impromptu debate with farmers. “There are people who are in great difficulty” but “we must not paint a catastrophic portrait of our agriculture”. “I’m just saying that there is a reality: the France farm, it remains strong, it produces” and “it exports,” he insisted.

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