A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

French pork industry: The crisis drags on

April 13, 2015


The European dairy industry is not the only one bearing the brunt of inadequate policy choices and poor economic conditions. Since last October, the pork industry––especially the French pork industry––is going through an increasingly severe crisis. The situation is all the more anxiety inducing as the sector has been suffering from structural shortcomings since 2008, when it was impacted by the hyper-volatility of agricultural prices and soaring food costs.

Currently caught in the crossfire, the French pig farmers, and especially those operating in Brittany–– 58 percent of pork-pigs raised each year come from Brittany farms––are denouncing a production given away, ongoing falling prices that no longer cover production costs, a situation worsened by the Russian embargo and lastly the rampant foreign competition. That was all it took for the industry’s experts to deliver gloomy prospects regarding the future. As a result:
    - On average, 300 pig farms are disappearing every year, out of a total number of 5,000 to 6,000. Ten percent of them have gone out of business within a decade. The number of pigs has also dwindled to the current 22 million, from 25 million in 2008. In addition, CER 22, a local accounting and management consultancy in Brittany, signals a debt ratio of 76 percent for the third quarter of 2014, against 72.5 percent on average since 2009.

    - The French Institute for the Pork Industry (IFIP) estimates that pork prices will remain “relatively depressed” for the whole 2015-year, and does not anticipate a recovery before the summer of 2016. In France, for the first two months of 2015, pork prices were already 13 percent lower than during the same period in 2014.

    - Lastly, the foreign and European competition further undermines the situation of French pig farmers. France is the third largest producer in Europe, following Germany and Spain (with 10 percent of total production). The value of exports declined by four percent in 2013, and the trade balance remains negative at - €212 million.
Everyone agrees that we must promote European pig meat to foreign markets. This is why the COPA-COGECA recommends considering the possible implementation of an export insurance credit system, or using EU funds to sponsor agricultural commodities. Yet, even if Stéphane Le Foll demonstrates some “willingness”, to use the word of Paul Auffray, President of the French Pork Federation (FNP), taking action seems to be more challenging. While in late February Phil Hogan finally accepted the implementation of a subsidy for private pork reserves, the measure proves to be inadequate over the long term, and ineffective to anticipate and prevent crises.

Now more than ever, the pork industry––along with the entire European agriculture––requires the introduction of tools to regulate production and markets. Conversely, and the future will unfortunately corroborate this, the whole structure of European agriculture will falter without any strategic vision adapted to the reality of global agricultural markets.


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Paris, 17 December 2018