Hogan receives exclusive French honour for ‘agricultural merit’

Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, has received a top award from the Government of France.

At an event in Paris, Commissioner Hogan was awarded the title ‘Commander of the Order of Agricultural Merit’ – a decoration that is referred to as the agricultural version of the country’s most prestigious prize, the Legion of Honour.

The rank of commander is the highest in the order, and is reserved to approximately 400 recipients for that rank, with an annual limit of 60 new members.

Speaking at the event, Commissioner Hogan said: “As European Commissioner, I have come to know French agriculture intimately. I have traveled to every corner of your great nation to meet your farming women and men, and I have seen for myself why France is the pre-eminent agricultural power in Europe.”

“Family farms and the rural way of life hold a special place in the heart of the French people, and I view it as my mission and my duty to support this treasured way of life, today and in the future,” added the commissioner.

When [French] minister of agriculture, Jules Meline, established this order in 1883, he argued that, in the field of agriculture, ‘labour was intensive and never-ending, devotion was commonplace but the rewards were rare’.

“My deeply held belief is that we must continue to reward our farmers for the incalculable contribution they make to the well-being of our people, the well-being of our rural areas, and the well-being of our precious climate and environment,” said Commissioner Hogan.

Hogan concluded his remarks by expressing his gratitude at receiving the award, and said he would continue to promote French farming.