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French Govt Supports Producers

18 September 2012, at 12:25pm

FRANCE - With the costs of production, in particular grain prices, increasing, the French government has proposed a strategic action plan that will help producers deal with escalating costs and in the long-term, protect consumers from rising food prices.

The Council of Ministers has presented a French plan of action in response to increasing grain prices.

Rising world prices for grains and oilseeds is likely to jeopardize food security in the poorest countries, but it also has an impact in France - meaning higher costs of production for farmers, with these costs being passed onto the consumer through the supply chain.

The action plan aims to protect the French livestock and food industry.

The plan includes measures that will immediately help overcome the current situation, as well as more structural measures to try and limit price volatility.

There are three levels to the plan.

International level: France will help mobilise G20 agricultural authorities to ensure proper coordination of the policies of major players in agricutlure.

The government will assess the G20 action plan and work with FAO to create initiatives to produce more and better storage for agricultural products to help deal with emergencies.

As well as this the government has called for biofuel production to be halted, as it competes with food production.

European level: France will encourage the strengthening of financial markets through EU legislation.

It will also promote a collective European position on break of biofuels with food uses.

France will also ask the European Commission to strengthen community mechanisms for regulating and limiting the effects of volatility through the Common Agricultural Policy.

At a national level: A plan will developed to increase silo storage capacity.

The government hopes to increase the production of plant proteins.

First-generation biofuel development will be stoped, without any question of investment or jobs in the sector.

Payments will be made available to farmers struggling to overcome financial difficulties associated with rising costs of production.

Funding will also be made available to help producers who need to upgrade sow housing, to comply with changes to EU legislation in 2013.

The government has also said it will review 2013 agricultural taxes to improve incomes for farmers.

Finally, it is hoped that a roundtable discussion group will be established to improve contractual and commercial relationships in the livestock sector.