Just a few days after the visits of French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, France’s Agriculture Minister, Marc Fesneau spent time at France’s largest farm show – the Salon de l’Agriculture – on Wednesday where he outlined a €200 million “sovereignty plan” to increase consumption of home-grown fruit and vegetables.
According to Europe 1, only half of fruit and vegetables eaten in France are grown here, a figure that the minister wants to increase.
“When it comes to fruit and vegetables, we have had a loss of sovereignty across all parts of this market”, the minister said at the Salon de l’Agriculture.
Laurent Grandin, the head of Interfel – the joint-sector organisation for fruit and vegetables – told BFMTV “we are at a crossroads”. He explained that the plan hopes to regain at least 10 percent of the market share for fruit and vegetables grown in France within the next 10 to 15 years.
The €200 million investment plan will take place over several years, with the objective of helping to make crop production better and more efficient. Grandin told BFMTV that this could include more funding for research and development, plans to modernise greenhouses and new techniques for fighting against pests while simultaneously lowering the use of pesticides, such as protective nets and weeding robots.
Part of the plan is also to encourage French people to eat more vegetables generally – the minister said the goal would be for at least two-thirds of French adults to eat five fruits or vegetables daily. Currently, under half of the population manages to do so.