Paris, 29 January 2018 — Actors in the French vegetable oils and proteins sector have welcomed the position adopted by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, in favor of an ambitious Protein Plan that could improve the food sovereignty of France.
They share this objective of greater national protein autonomy, while issuing a reminder that we should first of all consolidate existing assets in order to enable sustainable change in the sector.
Indeed, it is only through the concomitant utilization of protein (through the production of oilseed meals) and oils (a third of which are currently used in human foods, the other two-thirds going to renewable fuels) that the development of oilseed cultivation, and particularly that of rapeseed, has been possible in France and elsewhere in the world. This “co-valorization" has therefore enabled a reduction in French dependence on protein-rich raw materials for livestock feeds to 45%, versus nearly 70% in the rest of the European Union.
To preserve this asset, at a time when negotiations are starting between the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council on the Renewable Energies Directive to cover the period 2020-2030, actors in the sector are hoping that the French government will ensure the long-term use of biofuels (made using rapeseed and sunflower), a by-product of which is the vegetable proteins that play a crucial role in the feeds given to livestock throughout the country.
This will notably be made possible by maintaining a mandatory incorporation rate for these biofuels generating vegetable proteins at a minimum of 7%, as has been recognized by the European Parliament and Council.
It also supposes that the efforts made by the French sector should not be wiped out by imports of Argentine soybean biodiesel or Indonesian palm oil biodiesel, which would lead to a downturn in French production and the need to import GM oilseed meals.
In this context, at the end of December 2017, and in the framework of the French National Food Conference, the French vegetable oils and proteins sector presented a plan which is fully in line with the ambitions declared by the President of France in his New Year message to farmers.
This plan defines strategic orientations for the sector, and notably:
- The development of oilseed and protein crops, including grain legumes, the cultivation of which should rise from 2.5 to 3 million hectares in France by 2022,
- The development of a national, non-GM soybean sector, clearly identifiable at all levels in the value chain, from farmer to consumer,
- The development of biosourced products (to replace petrochemicals) under the logic of a virtuous bioeconomy.
The long-term success of this plan will require the commitment of all actors and notably a reinforcement of the fundamental links between protein producers and livestock farmers in all regions. It will also depend on support from the authorities and the investments necessary to drive agricultural and industrial production methods toward improved performance and sustainability.
FOP – Thibaut LEDERMANN – 06 50 69 20 08 – firstname.lastname@example.org
TERRES UNIVIA – Alissa SCHOLL – 01 39 53 53 33 – email@example.com
AVRIL GROUP – Tom DORON – 06 26 28 39 94 – firstname.lastname@example.org