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US News Trade negotiations: farmers ask Macron to be "uncompromising"

18:10  23 february  2021
18:10  23 february  2021 Source:   europe1.fr

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Le président de la République s'est rendu dans une ferme de Côte d'Or, mardi, alors que les négociations commerciales des prix de l'agroalimentaire sont particulièrement tendues dans le contexte de la crise sanitaire. Au micro d'Europe 1, l'un des gérants de l'exploitation visitée par Emmanuel Macron dit son espoir qu'il se montre © AFP The President of the Republic visited a farm in Côte d'Or on Tuesday, while trade negotiations on the prices of food industry are particularly tense in the context of the health crisis. At the microphone of Europe 1, one of the managers of the farm visited by Emmanuel Macron said his hope that he would be "uncompromising" to protect farmers.

Instead of a traditional visit to the agricultural fair, canceled because of Covid-19 , Emmanuel Macron went to a farm in Côte d'Or on Tuesday. The Head of State mentioned the problems of the agricultural world , before meeting with farmers, processors and distributors, in a particularly tense context. The annual trade negotiations on agri-food prices end in less than a week and farmers, hard hit by the health crisis, are very worried.

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>> READ ALSO - Agribusiness: how the annual negotiations turn into a price war

"The power of large distributors is very important"

Because if they were celebrated at the end of the first confinement to have achieved supplying stores with no shortage despite the restrictions, producers still lost money in 2020. Supermarket sales did not make up for the closure of restaurants for most of the year. To get by, farmers are therefore demanding a drop in prices of up to -1.33%, which represents significant sums on large volumes.

"I think that the power of large distributors is very important," said at the microphone of Europe 1 Alexandre Estivalet, one of the four managers of the farm who welcomed Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday. The producer recognizes that the manufacturers, who serve as intermediaries in these transactions, "do not necessarily have a margin". But he sends the negotiating actors back to back, lamenting that they "fall back on the lower level, the base, the farmers" to keep their profits. "The problem is that when everyone takes their margin and we are at the end of it, there is nothing more to take and we have nothing."

A profit to be distributed "fairly"

Alexandre Estivalet therefore expects a lot from the Head of State. "The basic idea, to start from us and 'go up' is the right one. I think [the head of state] has to be really uncompromising with all links in the chain, so that everyone has their share of the profit on the products - that's normal, everyone does a job - but let it be distributed fairly ", particularly in the context of the health crisis.

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