AMAP IdF Press Release, member of Urgenci

In the news, agriculture is finally at the center of discussions. AMAP members, farmers in CSAs, supporters of the movement, the Network shares with you its analysis of the situation and invites you to seize this moment to take action at your own level.

What’s happening with farmers?

The news is finally putting agriculture at the center of discussions. It was coming… It was about time. The situation of conventional and organic farmers is unbearable: nonexistent or very low income, even in organic farming, indebtedness, deplorable working conditions, exhaustion, contempt, isolation. This isn’t true for all farms, but it’s true for many. So, this mobilization speaks to all farmers, including those who sell in CSAs and in organic markets. A beautiful sector-wide solidarity!

Why here? Why now?

First, there’s the reality of farms in the Southwest and agricultural unionism in Occitania. They are driving forces in the mobilization after a series of crises of great violence for several years: avian flu, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) subsidies taking too long to arrive, unjust remuneration for organic farming, increasing indebtedness, increased controls… and always, far too low remuneration.

Then there’s this “coagulation” of two political agendas that gives immense visibility to the movement: the European elections in June 2024, and let’s not forget, the agricultural union elections at the end of 2024. This doesn’t explain everything obviously, but let’s be clear and recognize all the grotesque political manipulations by political and union organizations that did nothing to protect farmers from the consequences of price competitiveness when they could have.

And finally, commercial negotiations are underway between retailers and suppliers. Negotiations that will end on January 31, 2024. Such mobilizations could put more pressure on large retailers whose practices regarding prices and margins are almost not controlled at all. Farmers and consumers are the first victims of these practices.

Where does our CSA Network stand in all of this?

The co-spokesperson of the CSA Movement (MIRAMAP), Florent Sebban, was on BFM last night to react to these discussions and to recall some fundamentals regarding the importance of environmental standards and wealth distribution. Approaches that are at the heart of the CSA partnership that you, farmers and CSA members, bring to life every day. But we know that a change in scale will only be possible with clear and firm support from public authorities. He therefore recalled the importance of the Food Security project.

At this stage, we have three messages:

  1. Full solidarity with farmers from all sectors, for fair remuneration! It is inconceivable that 18% of farmers live below the poverty line. Even though some farms are doing well, indebtedness and lack of remuneration also affect some of our CSA farms!
  2. Farmer remuneration and environmental standards are not opposed! We firmly oppose these old “solutions” proposed by the FNSEA/JA, aimed at lowering environmental standards! The climate crisis and biodiversity loss are real. We know that it is possible to produce in an environmentally respectful manner. Farmers must be well remunerated and supported in this approach, rather than being put into competition.
  3. Join the Great Food March that is being organized throughout France on April 6th, to show your solidarity and to demand high-quality, sustainable, organic, accessible food for everyone, and remunerative for farmers!

What can you do at your level, before then? Plenty of things! Let’s be active, as we are all affected by this crisis!

Read the rest of the article here.