In November 2018, the French government enacted the Agriculture and Food Law. While they had many goals in mind when envisioning this legislation, three major ones stand out:
Paying producers a fair price so that they can earn a dignified living from their work,
Strengthening the environmental and nutritional quality of products, and
Promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food for all.
It should be noted that animal welfare was also given significant importance within the text.
Naturally, this law affected farmers throughout the country as well as their way of working. And, in turn, it gave rise to expectations towards the agricultural sector from said workers.
More than three-quarters are looking to get greater value from their products and efforts regarding animal welfare. And 67 percent also wish for financial assistance for the implementation of these costly measures and more modern equipment.
The dark side of farming
When looking at farmers’ conditions, this law was indeed quite necessary. A lot of them are struggling to make a living and facing serious debt issues. For roughly 50 percent of farmers, this debt amounts to at least 350,000 euros, often more.
As a result, the different sectors of the agricultural industry rely greatly on public subsidy to survive. Another way to cope is the transition to the organic sector. This endeavor reflects farmers’ willingness to adapt to changing consumer demands.
Agriculture and / in society
All these struggles do not seem to have gone unnoticed by the general population. For example, an increasing number of people would be willing to pay more for their food if it would ensure a fair income for farmers. In neighboring Belgium, a majority of the population thinks supermarkets are taking advantage of farmers. Similar feelings of dissatisfaction towards the agri-food industry are also present within the agricultural sector.
The situation, already strenuous, will presumably not be improved by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis that is wreaking havoc around the world, and which has already started to affect the morale of farmers.
What are your expectations towards the agricultural sector?
This question was phrased by the source as follows: "Personally, what are your 3 main expectations vis-à-vis stakeholders in the agricultural sector in order to evolve towards more sustainable agriculture? Please select only 3 answers maximum."
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Ipsos. (March 1, 2019). What are your expectations towards the agricultural sector? [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1167497/farmers-expectations-towards-agricultural-sector-france/
Ipsos. "What are your expectations towards the agricultural sector?." Chart. March 1, 2019. Statista. Accessed May 11, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1167497/farmers-expectations-towards-agricultural-sector-france/
Ipsos. (2019). What are your expectations towards the agricultural sector?. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 11, 2021. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1167497/farmers-expectations-towards-agricultural-sector-france/
Ipsos. "What Are Your Expectations towards The Agricultural Sector?." Statista, Statista Inc., 1 Mar 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1167497/farmers-expectations-towards-agricultural-sector-france/
Ipsos, What are your expectations towards the agricultural sector? Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1167497/farmers-expectations-towards-agricultural-sector-france/ (last visited May 11, 2021)