Thousands of French farmers held protests across France earlier this week in a number of the country’s largest cities, seeking better prices for their produce and “no additional distortions”.
Held on Wednesday, November 27, two French farmers’ associations, the Jeunes Agriculteurs (JA) and the Fédération Nationale des Syndicats d’Exploitants Agricoles (FNSEA) brought together thousands of farmers in Paris, Lyon, Clermont-Ferrand, Tours and many other regional capitals.
The demonstrations saw large numbers of tractors travel to the cities, with bales of straw scattered on the streets of Paris.
In a statement on the reasons behind the protests, the FNSEA said: “We are always caught between a regulation that does not allow competitiveness and a distribution of value that does not guarantee fair remuneration.
“This situation is no longer tenable,” the statement says, adding that new charges fall on farms, which aren’t passed on.
Instead of investing its energy to create new distortions – international trade agreements, no-treatment zones, new taxes – the state should work to enforce the EGalim law to truly secure the income of farmers.
“Agri-bashing” was once again highlighted and rejected by the farmers.
Following demonstrations, the two farm organisations were met by the French minister of agriculture, accompanied by Anne de Bayser, deputy secretary general of the Elysee, and other officials.
“Faced with these exchanges, we remain mobilised and will be extremely attentive to the statements and commitments that will [be made by] the prime minister next Tuesday, December 3,” the FNSEA said.
In the meantime, JA and FNSEA, after consultation, called for the “suspension” of the demonstration.