The eco-scheme, this new aid put in place as part of the CAP reform, will provide additional income support for farmers who engage in virtuous practices for the environment. For those who get it, there will be two levels of payments, with the upper floor rewarding the most committed farmers.
This aid is obtained in particular via a system of labels: Organic farming (AB) or High environmental value (HVE). However, while their specifications are much stricter since they reduce the use of unnatural inputs to a minimum, certified “organic” farmers will not have a higher level of aid than those wearing the cockade. HVE: the two systems will open the right to payment of the higher level of the eco-scheme.
The organic sector feels harmed. “There is real confusion, testifies Loïc Madeline, national secretary at Fnab, the National Federation of Organic Agriculture. The government systematically misses its targets in terms of reducing pesticides or increasing the organic area. The dynamic for organic is already slowing down: with eco-diets, it will become more pronounced. “
The government stresses that aid for converting land to organic, provided for by the CAP, is increasing by 36% to reach 360 million euros per year, an unprecedented increase. Between this increase, and the fact that organic producers will systematically touch the upper level of the eco-scheme, support for organic would increase in the new CAP.
However, France is not in line with the Green Pact of the European Commission, which aims to achieve 25% of organic plots by 2030. France is targeting only 18% on the horizon 2027. Conversions are slowing down: after having almost doubled between 2015 and 2020, to stand at 9.5% of the cultivated area, organic plots only increased “only” by 13% last year, according to the Bio Agency. There is no doubt that the official objective of 15% of organic agricultural land in 2022 will not be met under these conditions.
Julien Denormandie, the Minister of Agriculture, also seems to want to temporize: “We can see what is happening with organic milk (consumer demand no longer follows production growth, editor’s note) that production cannot be dictated by law. The consumer ultimately remains the principal. Why would we consider that the only agroecological transition that would exist in our country would be the organic transition? Agronomic transitions in our country are already incredibly advanced. What socio-economic sector are we asking for such a transition? »