“Osons la bio” – France

French organisations, Bio consomm’acteurs, the Fédération nationale d’agriculture biologique and Terre de liens, representing consumers, farmers, producers and citizens, are calling upon the French presidential election candidates to support the development of organic farming in France.

Organic campaign in France

Suggesting that organic farming is ecologically, socially and economically one of the main solutions for supporting the future of society, the NGOs are asking the candidates to make real commitments to meet the following target: 20% of farms to be organic by 2020. They are asking for financial, fiscal and technical measures in 20 propositions.

Despite a level of conversions never seen before, organic farming still only represents 3% of the total arable area in France, making it rank 22nd in Europe. Moreover in spite of ambitious public objectives, less than 2% of public catering ingredients come from organic farming.

This assessment contrasts sharply with the fact that France is still the largest consumer of pesticides in Europe (up 2% since 2008) and is regularly condemned by Europe for not respecting environmental directives, particularly concerning water quality.

The document, compiled by farmers, consumers, citizens and associations, presents several ways of reaching the 20% target: Sustainable and ambitious public policies, renewed land legislation, support for employment sectors, a sustainable consumption policy, a plural governance system and fair taxation. Other NGOs such as Générations Futures, the Mouvement des Biodynamistes, Nature & Progrès and Agir pour l’environnement are among the signatories of this text.

In November 2011, organisations presented this document to representatives of election candidates.

A petition text is available on the NGOs websites to mobilise civil society about these proposals. To date, 35,000 people have signed it: http://action.bioconsomacteurs.org/

This campaign will last till the end of the French presidential elections that is to say till early May.