Agriculture: for presidential candidates, sovereignty as a mantra



Detour via Besançon on the way to the Élysée. The FNSEA, the first national agricultural union, invited the candidates for the presidential election to come and present their proposals for the peasant world, this Wednesday, March 30.

Only five aspirants marched to the desk: Emmanuel Macron, held back by the Ukrainian crisis, took part in the exercise remotely via a video recorded the day before. As for the candidates Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo, they declined the invitation.

Protectionism at the heart of the debates

And if the words of Jean Lassalle, launched in a history of agriculture, from the sedentarization of man to the electrification of the country, traced a furrow apart, the five other candidates focused their speech on food sovereignty . As for the elixir to get there, if it’s all about dosage, it’s called protectionism.

→ ANALYSIS. War in Ukraine: the winners and losers of French agriculture

The candidate president thus said he wanted “continue to fight at European level for the implementation of mirror clauses in free trade agreements. And if Brussels is too late, he continued, I will take my responsibilities by prohibiting the import and marketing of meat from farms using growth hormones. » The candidate of the Republicans Valérie Pécresse also wishes that “Europe no longer imports products that do not meet the environmental standards that are required of our farmers”.

“Agriculture must be excluded from free trade agreements because the sector meets a basic human need”, proposes for his part the communist Fabien Roussel. A line similar to that defended by the candidate of the National Rally. “We must urgently return to the dogmas that have led us to this impasse”said Marine Le Pen.

Find farmers

But no agricultural sovereignty without farmers, while the profession has lost 100,000 members in ten years, to now reach 390,000 active people. “We must double the means devoted to agricultural training to install between 20,000 and 25,000 farmers each year”, puts Fabien Roussel on the table. A proposal very close to that of Emmanuel Macron who would also like “strictly supervise the sale of agricultural land to foreign funds” to limit land grabbing.

→ ANALYSIS. Agriculture: in ten years, 100,000 farms have disappeared in France

Valérie Pécresse emphasizes the renewal of generations: “Transmission must be facilitated by reducing inheritance tax to 95% and putting an end to the taxation of capital gains on transfers to young farmers. It is also necessary to work on the feminization of the profession and in particular to widen the mechanisms of aid for the replacement of young mothers on the farms. »

Targeted retail

The burning subject of farmers’ remuneration has not been evacuated. After a five-year term where the Egalim laws came to sanctuarize production costs in the price paid to farmers, Emmanuel Macron promises to continue the efforts even if it means playing the bogeyman: “I will be intractable in the application with the multiplication of sanctions. »

The crusade against mass distribution is being emulated. “We must strengthen the weight of the State, so that industries, and even more mass distribution, pay what they owe you”launched Marine Le Pen, promising in particular to “clean up the tax optimization systems of certain large groups”.

“Quality food makes it possible to properly remunerate our farmers, abounded Éric Zemmour, candidate of the Reconquest movement. We must put an end to the dictatorship of supermarkets, competition law must make it possible to prohibit these cartels and their central purchasing bodies. » Another lever, shared by the candidates, the efforts made on collective catering and the order from local authorities.

And ecology?

Only absent from the table, ecology. Almost everyone at the desk, starting with Emmanuel Macron, proposed to unravel the European Commission’s project “from farm to fork”, which provides for ambitious objectives in organic surfaces and pesticide reduction. Even if it means indulging in a number of “at the same time”…

→ DEBATE. Faced with the war in Ukraine, should environmental policies be suspended?

“Leading transitions is necessary, but must not make us lose sight of our nurturing mission, expressed Emmanuel Macron. You have to combine the two, it’s possible provided you invest and believe in progress. The geopolitical situation reminds us of this, what we are experiencing requires in the period to produce more. »

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