France - Thousands of hectares directly threatened to disappear

28.06.2022 160 views

While the European Commission has just presented its proposal for a regulation on the “sustainable use of pesticides”, the text that was revealed predicts a real disaster for European agriculture. The collective Sauvons les Fruits et Légumes de France is asking the European member states to strongly oppose this caricatured project that threatens our food sovereignty.

Directly resulting from the Farm to Fork strategy, this regulation project imposes a 50% reduction of the use of phytosanitary products for all European countries. If the member states are given any leeway, taking into account their “progress” in the reduction of the use of phytosanitary products since 2011, the objective is still off the ground. 

This regulation project completely brushes aside the issue of yield losses, raised by agricultural organizations since 2020, under the pretext of a progressive application of changes. Let us not forget that the European Commission’s services have themselves evaluated that 7% of the fruit and vegetable production would be lost due to the implementation of Farm to Fork. Once again, the Commission contradicts itself…

A decline already tested in France
Drastically reducing the use of pesticides in France was one of the objectives of the Grenelle de l'Environnement in 2008, then translated into the Ecophyto plan in 2010. The consequence today is that we import 60% of the fruit and 40% of the vegetables we eat, whereas in 2000 we produced 70% of what we consumed. The cause: the gradual suppression of the solutions available to producers to protect their crops. Faced with one ban after another, we have become incapable of producing what we need in France, hence the increase in imports. 

The absurdity of banning the use of phytosanitary products in the Natura 2000 areas
Article 18 of the regulation project explicitly prohibits phytosanitary treatments within the Natura 2000 areas, except for a few extremely limited exceptions. This plan directly threatens thousands of hectares of fruit and vegetable crops. The cartographic data from Agreste shows that 5,339 ha of orchards are located within the Natura 2000 areas, which is 4.5% of the national fruit producing area. Will these orchards have to be completely wiped out?

Faced with this deadly plan, the Collective Sauvons les Fruits et Légumes de France has asked the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, as well as the European deputies to really mobilize to amend this text. As it is currently drafted, the text amounts to making any plan for French and European sovereignty completely useless and inoperative.

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