The three minority agricultural unions are calling, Tuesday, April 9, on the Head of State to put in place the “floor prices” promised during his visit to the Agricultural Show, “condition number 1” according to them “to sustainably emerge from the agricultural crisis”. The Rural Coordination, the Peasant Confederation and the Movement for the Defense of Family Farmers (Modef), respectively second, third and fourth representative unions, behind the majority alliance FNSEA-Jeunes Agriculteurs (JA), together sign an open letter to the president of the Republic.

If the Peasant Confederation and Modef, classified on the left, regularly make joint communications, this is a rare rapprochement with the Rural Coordination around the question of income. “Despite [their] differences”, the three unions intend through this initiative to send a “strong signal” in a “context of crisis and in the face of historical issues”. The “number 1 condition for sustainably emerging from the agricultural crisis” is to guarantee “remunerative prices”, they say.

During his stormy visit to the Agricultural Show at the end of February, Emmanuel Macron set a “floor price” objective to “protect agricultural income”. Since then, the executive has continued to explain that it in fact intended to strengthen, through a future text of law, the EGalim laws supposed to improve the consideration of farmers’ production costs, to prevent them from selling at a loss.

Market regulation

The subject of floor prices “has scandalously almost disappeared from the sixty-two commitments declined by the government in recent days” to get out of the crisis, judge the minority unions. “Abandoning this central subject to the sole evaluation of EGalim laws is completely insufficient, too uncertain and too slow,” they add.

According to them, “the urgent provision of market regulation tools (guaranteed minimum price, volume management, public storage, supervision of the margins of agro-industry and mass distribution, etc.) is essential and will make it possible to prevent crises and protect farmers from market volatility.”

The majority unions, FNSEA and JA, as well as the agricultural sectors, did not appreciate the presidential formula of “floor prices”, considering it contrary to the laws of commerce in an open market, where French production risks becoming too expensive.

Last week, the government opposed the adoption in the National Assembly of a bill from environmentalists providing for a minimum purchase price set by “a public conference” in agricultural sectors that wish it, or by decision of the government in the event of disagreement.