Energy crisis Agrarian Cooperation fears production stoppages

Energy crisis Agrarian Cooperation fears production stoppages

Between the energy boom, which economically weakens companies, and the reduction of raw materials linked to climatic accidents, the Agricultural Cooperation fears for the continuity of production and asks the public authorities for short-term support measures in the face of the cost of energy but also, in the longer term, a food sovereignty pact to establish the sustainability of the sector.

Dominique Charge, president of Agricultural Cooperation, September 21.Dominique Charge, President of Agricultural Cooperation, September 21. (© Terrenet Media)

If the economic situation was no longer very good in 2021, the situation this year is turning out to be even more degraded, regrets Dominique Chargé, president of Agricultural Cooperation. Because it is no longer the investment capacity that worries us, but “the business continuity production,” he explained at the organization’s back-to-school press conference on September 21.

Climatic accidents, in particular drought and summer heat waves, de facto reduce the availability of agricultural raw materials, with a more pronounced drop in milk production (-4%) and a decapitalization of beef that continues (-6%). Depending on the sector, agricultural production costs have shot up between 25 and 30%. “For 40 years we have not experienced a situation of rampant inflation in all our cost items,” estimates Dominique Chargé, for whom “we are falling into a world marked by geopolitical and economic instability, and the end of abundance in terms of supply of raw materials and the fluidity of their circulation”, which must lead to adaptations across the industry.

The cost of energy, an “impassable wall”

And if this new model is to be invented, it is first and foremost necessary for companies to be able to overcome the energy crisis, when the extra cost generated can sometimes be three to five times higher than the net result of some of them. A situation that constitutes an “impassable wall, in the sense that in the current state of things, the situation will lead to the closure of our production units “, He warns. To avoid this, the Agricultural Cooperation therefore calls for the rapid review of the eligibility criteria -decided at European level- for the payment of the energy bill, because today, of the 3,000 million euros of this endowment , only 50 million euros were spent.

“We must also help with the cost of energy,” insists Dominique Charge, who asks for a energy shieldand the ability to pass the cost on to customers. For the president of the Agrarian Cooperation, it is also necessary to unlink the indexation of the price of gas and electricity. Without additional help, the companies will have to carry out arbitrations, stop production lines and probably delete references, warns the president of the Agricultural Cooperation.

At the same time, the issue of energy availability is also a cause for concern. “Cooperatives, we are responsible for 70% of French agricultural production, which we must collect and stabilize. If we interrupt the chains, we will waste agricultural material”, explains Dominique Chargé, who asks that these trades be recognized as being of general interest and that the agricultural sector be preserved. rations of energy.

A food sovereignty pact between actors in the sector

Faced with this unprecedented situation, which will surely be repeated, the Agrarian Cooperation also asks adequacy of commercial relations and above all, a collective responsibility of the actors. “I am not asking anyone to do charity. It is above all a problem of the actors’ behavior and awareness of what is at stake”, insists Dominique Chargé. In this context, the Agricultural Cooperation calls for a Greater responsiveness to tariff re-discussionsthe establishment of a moratorium on logistics penalties, and the consideration of industrial raw materials in the evolution of the prices of food products, through indicators on the different cost items.

More generally, the Agricultural Cooperation defends the implementation of a “food sovereignty pact between the actors of the sector”, in addition to the agricultural orientation law that will be more directed to the installation. This agreement must be built around four pillars, explains Dominique Chargé: orientation, organization, planning and remuneration.

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