By Gérard Le Puill
We mentioned in our article yesterday the risks of a significant increase in the prices of wheat, corn and soybeans in the months to come in the event of an insufficient global harvest in 2021 to cover the needs of the world population. Today we want to show how the European Commission hides this risk. Worse still, she advocates provisions that could make it worse. For the implementation of the new reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which must be debated this year to become effective in 2023, the Commission has had two texts drafted. The first is called the “Green deal” or “Green Pact for Europe”. A careful reading of this text makes it possible to understand that it was pre-drafted by environmental associations which have their headquarters in Brussels and lobby the Commission.
Responsible for “selling” this catalog of good intentions to member countries of the European Union, Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner in charge of Agriculture, presented to them on December 18 his recommendations to meet the requirements of the “Green deal”. He asks them to switch 25% of agricultural land in the European Union to organic farming by 2025, i.e. a tripling of land. At the same time, they will have to reduce the use of fertilizers by 20% and that of pesticides by 50%. The Commissioner in charge of agriculture therefore sent around fifteen recommendations to each member country of the Union with the following precision: “These recommendations form part of the dialogue between the Commission and the Member States in order to support them. in the implementation of the CAP from 2023, and to ensure that their strategic plans make an ambitious contribution to the Green Deal for Europe ”.
What market shares for organic products by 2025?
While such objectives may seem desirable a priori, the Commission does not provide any recipe for achieving them in the “Green Pact for Europe” and not in the text entitled “From farm to table” more specifically focused on reform of the CAP. To reach 25% of agricultural land in the European Union in organic farming by 2025, we must first find enough farmers ready to take the plunge. It’s easier said than done, because you have to learn to practice your profession in a different way.
Then you have to be able to sell your products at prices higher than those of conventional agriculture. Because there are additional production costs in organic farming, which requires in particular an additional labor force for lower yields per hectare. However, with the foreseeable rise in unemployment and the precariousness of employment induced by the health crisis attributable to the coronavirus, nothing proves that the consumption of organic products will increase significantly in France and in Europe by 2025. We know in On the other hand, a supply of organic products greater than demand would lower the prices paid to producers. In France in particular, we can count on large retailers to use this strategy of plundering producers while promoting the presence on their shelves of a greater diversity of organic products.
The Portuguese Presidency and the ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement
This seems to escape the college of technocrats outside the ground who make up the European Commission. Even more serious, on December 14 in Berlin, during an informal ministerial meeting between the 27 member countries of the European Union with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, we learned that “the EU and Mercosur countries agreed to strengthen information exchange, intensify political dialogue and identify areas of cooperation. This process and actions should focus in particular on areas of public interest, including deforestation, related to the free trade agreement they signed on June 28, 2019 ”, read Agra- Weekly press of January 4, 2021.
We also learned that, during this meeting, both the Commission and the member countries of the Union and their South American interlocutors “also expressed their conviction that the agreement should be implemented in such a way as to provide benefits to two parties at the same time in the economic, social and environmental fields ”. Suddenly, “Portugal, which took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 er January provides in its work program to speed up the process of ratifying the agreement with the Mercosur bloc ”, indicated Agra-presse.
When Europe worsens deforestation in the Amazon
Knowing this, we must also keep in mind that Europe already imports some 34 million tonnes of soybeans and meal each year and that the largest share comes from the Mercosur countries. It should also be noted that the agreement of June 28, 2019 provides that the Mercosur countries will be able, if this agreement is ratified, to significantly increase their exports of beef, pork and poultry to Europe without customs duties. Finally, you should know that, for years, soya imports have been used in France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Denmark and even more in the Netherlands, to produce ever more tonnes of meat. and dairy products for export to Asia and elsewhere.
In other words, between the production of food for cattle in South America, the production of meat and dairy products in Europe and their consumption on the different continents of the planet, the distance which goes “from the farm to the table” – to use the title that the Commission gives to the reform of the CAP continues to lengthen to the point of going around the world. In doing so, Europe contributes to deforestation in the Amazon while maintaining the cold chain for its dairy meat exports further increases its CO2 emissions.
Who will be led to believe that Europe seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by acting in this way?