Baptiste Morin / Photo credits: LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL / AFP 8:44 a.m., February 22, 2024

Food sovereignty is Emmanuel Macron's magic formula, an expression hammered out by Gabriel Attal on Wednesday.

The executive couple wants to include the definition in the agricultural orientation bill, soon to be presented.

Objective: to set in stone France's capacity to ensure its food supply within the European framework. 

The expression “food sovereignty” was once again stated and repeated by Gabriel Attal on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister wants to include the definition in the agricultural orientation bill which must very soon be presented.

According to the documents that Europe 1 has been able to consult, it will be a question of setting in stone France's capacity to ensure its food supply within the European framework.

Because today, there is reason to worry.

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The European Union far from being infallible

Sovereignty is the control of dependencies.

And in this matter, the European Union is far from infallible, because it is a net importer of calories and proteins.

“We have a lot of livestock to feed in the European Union, so we produce a lot of meat, but on the other hand, we are not at all self-sufficient in the food we provide to this European livestock,” explains Aurélie. Catallo, France agriculture director at IDDRI. “And therefore the European Union is a very large importer of plant proteins to feed farm animals.”


- Anger of farmers: why the government has made food sovereignty a major objective

The striking example of durum wheat

France is doing a little better than the European Union.

It remains the only member country still with a surplus for animal food production.

But no matter, sovereignty must be conceived on a European scale.

Competing with neighbors would make little sense.

The example of durum wheat is striking.

According to FranceAgriMer, France produces more durum wheat than the French consume.

And yet, the coverage rate of consumption by national production only reaches 16%.

"We produce a lot of it in France but we export it to Italy because that's where the processing factories are now located, particularly for pasta, and the French are big eaters of pasta so then, we will import pasta in France", says Aurélie Catallo.

There remains the question of the harmonization of European rules.

To achieve European sovereignty, all member countries will have to follow the same standards, whether in terms of pesticides or labor costs and this is far from being the case.